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PREHISTORIC INDIA 



ITS PUCE IN THE WORLD'S CULTURES 



bv 

PANCHANAN MITRA. M.A. 





RAMA VARMA RESEARCH II1GTITUTE. 

TRICHUR. COCHIN STATE. 




Sir A suto s h A nth >" >poicgical Series 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 






PREHISTORIC INDIA 

ITS PLACE IN THE WORLDS CULTURES 



BY 

PANCHAN AN’ MITRA, M.A. 

prrarouxn trntimi irrcnnir, Lttma lx ixnmoioioa? iki» Avaztn 
re Mi* msroin ako cctTCih, cjtcora omvisfttvv, boh. amt. 

CtUiltCR. 1BCBAEGL41C.1C1L UrCIUH :5DlA* VU’PEU* , 
tfUOV or 7BE BOV 111 AX1B10PCLODMJ1L 

IIIT1791E 

(SBCOKD edition — revised and enlarged) 




PUBLISHED BY THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA 




PrinU4 ip BhuptiidrM 3ansrjt4 at Ike Calcutta Util ertft? Prsta 
H&xiCt Calcutta 



K«g. No. 190 B.— Feb. 1927— *. 




RAMA VAR11A RESEARCH INSTITUTE. 

TRICHUR. COCHIN STATE. 



To 



The memory of my father 



UDAYENDRALALA M1TRA 



late fulfilled task 




PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION 

Since the last Great War, many ol the world's 
foremost thinkers find that West European civili- 
sation is being tried in the balance and is in great 
danger, so ' Culturology’ (as we might say) is 
coming more and more to the forefront of human- 
istic studies. There is now a systematic endeavour 
to dive deep into the question of origin and decay 
of civilisations. In a Sanskrit poem the goddess 
of fortune is said to appear mysteriously like the 
milk in rhe coeoanut high up in tile tree and 
disappear like the rind inside the nut which 
comes out whole when s Wallowed by the elephant. 
So also does civilisation in any land. But it is 
being more and more felt that India and China 
ate exceptions, for they alone in the old world 
with complex communal life and primitive institu- 
tions somewhat possess the vital elixir which 
made them survive the 'diseases' of civilisations 
which carried away Sumer and Assur, Egypt and 
Crete, Greece and Rome and will still make 
them escape the factors that are ruining modern 
Europe. 

Now it may be as Maeterlinck points out in 
his prologue to The Great Secret that : — "Thanks 




PREFACE 



viii 

to the labours of a science which is compara- 
tively recent, it is very much easier than 
ic was not so long ago, to discover the source, 
to ascend the course and unravel the under- 
ground network of that great mysterious river 
which since the beginning of history, has been 
flowing beneath all the religions, all the faiths 
and all the philosophies . in a word, beneath 
all the visible and everyday manifestations of 
human thought. It is now hardly to be contested 
that this source is to be found in ancient 
India." Then the prehistoric archa:ology of 
India becomes fraught with a unique human 
interest. 

Thus prehistoric archeology becomes as vital 
to a proper understanding of the steps and pro- 
cesses of human progress as ontogeny is to 
philogeny. “A glance at the map shows India 
as the heart of the old world; in fact, the ideas 
that emanated from India, the elements of culture 
that matured there, had been derived from out- 
side, had been recast and transformed over and 
over again by an indescribably fertile imagina- 
tion, sometimes indeed worked up even to extra- 
vagance, and in all these stages given out again 
broadcast to the world. In the rise of Indian 
studies. Ir.dia was looked on as ‘the cradle of 
mankind,' ‘the seat of primeval wisdom.' This 
was a mistake. Still in one's zeal to reduce 
everything to proper proportions we must not go 




PREFACE 



IK 



so far as either to ignore or to minimise the 
immense importance of Indian life in the history 
of human culture." fGrfinwWel, Buddhist Art , 
1901, p. 6.) 

Thus as in historic times, so possibly in pre- 
historic times India was in touch with phase after 
phase of many dominant cultures of the world. 
What is more, with the motto of " live and let 
live" India is still dragging on primitive ele- 
ments from the remotest prehistoric times even 
in the most cultured households which live and 
move in latest thoughts whether spiritually 
evolved within herself or materially imported 
from the West. The cultured Hindu perhaps 
still perpetuates in his society some totemistic 
cxogamic basis of Proto-Australoid times, believes 
in the 'Yak' guardians of treasures like the Nac 
Yaku of Veddas. revels in Mother-goddess 
warship in forms redolent of Indo-African or 
Proto-Mediterranean phases, worships idols of 
cowdung or pays homage to the cow with the 
scrupulousness of a Toda and utters mantras 
during marriage and ivaddha (funeral) ceremonies 
set in vogue by Rig Vedic 'Aryan peoples. And 
yet sometimes teacher, sometimes taught, India 
learning new analytical methods and revealing 
new synthetic truths has not lost faith in her 
eternal religion, Sanatan dharma, and proclaims 
with one of her greatest modern sons, Swami 
Vivckananda, that;— " Whenever there has been 

b 




X 



PREFACE 



a great conquering race, bringing the nations 
of the world together, making roads and transit 
possible, immediately India arose and gave her 
quota ol spiritual power to the sum total of the 
progress of the world. This happened ages 
before Buddha was born and remnants of it arc 
still left in China, in Asia Minor and in the heart 
of the Malayan Archipelago. This was the case 
when the great Greek conqueror united the four 
comers of the then known world ; then rushed 
out Indian spirituality and the boasted civilisa- 
tion of the West is but the remnant of that 
deluge. Now the same oppoitunity has again 
come ; the power of England has linked the world 
as was never done before." {Address in Works, 
VoL 111 , p. 222.) 

Theu again, as Stoddard has pointed out 
the racial problems of mankind now far tran- 
scends all other questions (Rising Tide of Colour, 
1923, p. vii). "But in India where East and 
West meet as nowhere else, Britain has lighted 
a beacon which if she keeps it burning, will show 
to both the way of escape from a more disas- 
trous conflict than that from which the West 
has just emerged battered and bleeding, a con- 
flict not between nations but between races" 
(Sir Valentine Chirol, India Old and Nev, 1921, 
p. 310). It is from prehistoric India perhaps 
would be discovered the secrets of a process which 
could weld up in one homogeneous group life, 




PREFACE 



XI 



be it social or religions, the races which arc akin 
to the Nordics the Alpines and the Mediterranean 
in Europe. The Nordic Hindu ot North- 
Western India or the Mediterranean Dra vidian 
of the South or the Alpine Bengali or Gujrati 
is knit close when offering f> 6 /'a at the same 
shrine and belongs to the same religious group, 
whether a Vaishnava, a Saiva, or a S&kta or parti- 
cipates in the same social group life as a Brahman, 
a Kshatriya, a Vaishya, or a Sudra. It is the 
spiritual harmonising impetus from prehistoric 
times that makes Modern India put new wine 
in old bottles and has given rise to faiths since 
the days of Kavir about five hundred years ago 
which preach divine love based on a scientific 
realisation, of the unity of life in all its diversity, 
culminating in a universal humanitarian religion 
like that founded by Soamiji Maharaj which 
holds that all true religion and all true science 
are but one, the difference lying only in creeds 
and dogmas, which like Conklin's evolved 
religion of the future ( The Direction of Human 
Evolution, p. 247) has built up a camaraderie 
of "all men of good will" {satsanga) making 
“love of God and love of fellow men the 
one requirement for mutual fellowship and 
service." 

While acknowledging my personal grateful, 
ness to the greatest benefactor and patron of letters 
in modem India, Sir Asutosh Mookerjec, Kt., 




XII 



PREFACE 



C.S.L M.A.. D.L., I’li.D, D.Sc., Vice-Chan- 
cellor, Calcutta University, I think I would fail 
in ray duty if I do not point out what anthro- 
pological studies in India owe to him- The 
systematisation of anthropological teaching and 
research in India, to Sir Herbert Risley was but 
a pious wish, to Sir Richard Temple a long 
cherished object, and was but a paper resolution 
in the Museums Conference of the Government 
of India more than a decade ago. But it has 
become a reality under him in the Calcutta Uni- 
versity in spite of his being seriously handicapped 
for want of funds. 

My thanks are due to Professor Ramaprasad 
Chanda and Dr. D R. Bhandarkar for encourage- 
ment and guidance, and to my colleagues Rai 
Bahadur B. A. Gupte and Mr. Anathnath Chatterjee, 
M.B., B.S Mr. Percy Brown has laid me under 
great obligation for the fine plates and the valu- 
able note on Singanpur cave-paintings that grace 
this book and I cannot be sufficiently grateful 
to him. I have to thank Mr. Tarakchnndra Das. 
M.A., who helped me with the bibliography. 
I have also to thank my students Sj. Sisirkumar 
Har, M.A., and Sj. Rajendrakumar Bhatta- 
charyya, M.A. ; best thanks are due to Mr. A. C- 
Ghatak and his staff as well as Sj. Pulin Krishna 
Mitra, M.A., Sj. Anil Krishna Mitra and Sj. 
Radhashyam Ghosh for help in seeing my work 
through the press. Lasc but not least I lake 




PREFACE 



xiii 

iliis opportunity to acknowledge gratefully 
the deep debt I owe to the correspondence witn 
various European scholars specially the laic 
lamented Prof. Giuffrida Ruggeri and Prof 
Elliot Smith. 

Senate House, 

Calcutta. ( P. M 

The tglh February, /p2J. ' 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION 

With the growth of the department of Anthro- 
pology established by Late Sir Asutosh Mookerjee 
ar.d the excavations consequent on the discovery 
of Mohen-jo-Darn, prehistoric studies in India 
have grown in volume and importance and the 
additional two hundred and fifty pages can 
scarcely cope with them. I have to thank my 
colleagues Dr. B. S. Guha, M.A., Ph.D., for 
his help with a note on Aditannalur crania and 
photographs of the Bayana and Aditannalur 
specimens and Mr. A. N. Chatterjea, M B., B.S., 
for the sections on Fossil men outside India and 
Palmogeography of India and Prof. H. C. Das 
Gupta, M.A., for looking over geological and 
palxontological portions, and Mr. T C. Das, M.A., 




PREFACE 



XIV 

for photographs of the Ghatsila rock-carvings. 
I have also to thank Rai Bahadur Rama Prasad 
Chanda, B.A., F.A.S.B,, of the Archeological 
Department and his museum assistant Sj. Pares 
Nath Bhattacharyya for facilities in the Indian 
Museum. 1 have also to thank my stu- 
dents ol M.A classes of 1925-26 for help in the 
course of their practical work specially Biswanath 
Banerjea, M.Sc., Sarangadhar Rajkhowa, B.Sc, 
and Anilkrishna Chaudhuri, B.Sc., for index. 



Anthropological Seminar, 
Asutosh Buildings 
The and October, 1926. 



P. M. 




TABLE OF CONTENTS 
Chapter I 



Page 

Races and Cultures in India — Earlier 
Studies and present outlook ... ... i 

Aryan and Hebrew, 4. Indian culture — 
prehistoric, 8. Aryan and Pre-Aryan, 10. 
Extinct cultures, 1 1 The method of Pre- 
historic archaeology, 1 2. Ethnographic illus- 
trations, 14. The Synthetic method, 16. 
Earlier work on Indian Prehistory, 17. Faci- 
lities and urgency, 18. Fossil remains, 20. 
Palaeolithic Types, 21. The explanations 
of similarities, 27. The contact of peoples 
and its psychological effects, 30. Cultural 
contact and origins, 39. Chronological out- 
look, 44. The Socio-religious outlook, 46. 

Ethnic stratification and chronological 
correlation, 48. Comparative chronology, 51. 

Chapter II 

The Geological Background ; Geogra- 
phical and Palao-Geographical features .. 52 

Human evolution and geological changes, 

52. The three strata in India, 54 Tertiary 
changes in India, 55 Earth-movement, 
climate and life, 56. The great Ice 




CONTENTS 



Age and man, 58. Its causes, 58. The Ice 
Age in India, 60. Its eHects and traces, 61. 
The oscillations, 65. River-terraces, 61. Pleis- 
tocene Bhangar. cave and khadar deposits, 
72. Other Pleistocene formations, 74. 
‘ Lateritcs ' and raised 'Sea-beaches, 1 75. 
Submerged forests, 75. Quaternary sub- 
divisions in India, 76. The Geographical 
factors, 8t. Pai.xogeography of India, 87. 



Chapter III 



The Paheovtological Basis — The 

Human ancestry — The cradle-land — The 
SivaRk Primates— Fossil men outside India 
Time-Scale, 92. Problems ol human ori- 
gin. 93. The human ancestry, 94. Simian 
t'j Pre-Simian descent, 96. Poly- 
genism and Monogenism, 102. The cradle 
land, 105. Fossil primates, 107. The Siwa- 
Iik fossil primates, no. Extinct types of 



men 



known from elsewhere, 1 15. 



92 



Chapter IV 

The Earliest Artifacts of Pre-Chellean 
India {probably more than a lac of years 
old) ... ... 124 

The Burma find, 124. The Godavari 
flake, 127. Age of the finds, 130. The. 




CONTENTS 



XVII 



Page 

shape of Burma finds — Rostrocarinale and 
Eolithic 2, — 133 The Eolithic question, 

135. The criterion of intentional working 
by man, 136. Indian Rostrocarinatcs, 137. 

The ‘ Pre-Chellean ' Godavari flake and the 
Narbada coup-de-poing, 138. Distribution 
and origin, 141. The Pre-Chcllcan industry 
and users, 142. The stone implements of 
the Andamanese, 143, 



Chapter V 

Early Pa Lech /hie Phases — Chellcan , 
Adieu Ilea 'i and Mousteriaa types ... 146 

Foote’s classification, 146. Possible 
Paleolithic movements in India, 146. 
Archaeological study, 150. Foote’s types, 

151. Foote Bruce's types, 162. Chellean, 
Acheullcan and Mousterian types, 153. The 
Godavari sites — (a) Paloncha, 156; (b) 
Chanda, 157; (c) Chinnur, 157; (d) S. E. 

Bcrar, 158; (c) Malcdi, 158; (f) Sirpur, 

15S. Sites on upper Kristna affuents — (a) 
Kaladhi, 159. (b) Tolanmalli, 160; (c) 

Kaira, 1 50 ; (d) Benihalb nullah, 161 ; (e) 

Hira and Chik Mulungi, 161 ; (f) Other 
sites, 162. Lower Kristna, 162. Madras 
area, 163. Central India, 164. Chhota 
Nagpur, 165. 




CONTENTS 



xviii 



Chapter VI 

Page 

Pleistocene cate- life — Karnul ... \66 

The only excavated Pleistocene cave, 

166. The age of the fauna, 170 The life 
in the caves, 174. Vedda cave life, 177. 

Chapter VII. 

Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic cul- 
tures — The Capstan Industry stations 180 

The successive stages, 1S0. Aurigna- 
cian, 181. Solutrean, i 32 . Magdalcnian. 

183. Capsian, 114. No hiatus, 185. Chakra- 
dharpur, 186. Ranchi, 189. Sim and Serai 
Kela State Finds, 189. Ghatsi'a, 1S9, 
Morhana Pshar, 199. Partabganj, 190. 
Jubbulpur, 190. Appendix to Chapter VII, 

121 . 

Chapter VIII. 

Prehistoric cave-art and Rock-carvings 193 
The proofs of antiquity, 183. Reports 
of cave-paintings in India, 194. The Sin- 
ganpur paintings and our visit there, 195. 

The Bellary ‘ graffiti," 195. The Edakal 
rock-carvings, 199, Rock-carvings in Ghat- 
sila, Singbhum District, 201. John Cock- 
bum’s discoveries of cave- paintings in the 
Kaimur ranges of late Palarolithic traces, 202. 




CONTENTS 



xix 
Page 

The motives of Paleolithic art, 208. 
Genesis and Ho hut-design parallels, 211. 



Chapter IX 

The Neolithic types in India ... 216 

Classifications, 216. The Amerindian 
stone-implements, 217. The types, 318. 

Celts, 220. Hammer stones, 224. Ring- 
stones, 226. Picks, ’22 7. Pestles, 227. 

Chapter X 

The Neolithic culture-stations ... 229 

Neolithic chronology, 229. A Neolithic 
factory site, 231. Bellarv in the Ramavana, 

232. The stages of * celt ’ manufacture, 235. 

The coloured stones, 336. Iron-smelting, 

336. The cinder-camps, 207. Possible 
cultural routes, 237. Burma types, 238. 
Shouldered celts and ethnic associates, 239. 

Indus cores, 240. Wooden types, 241. 

Chapter XI 

Prehistoric Metallurgy ... ... 343 

Gold and gem stones, 344 Copper, 

247. Bronze, 24S. Iron, 250. Iron ore, 




CONTENTS 



XX 



Page 

252. Its primitive smelting processes, 253. 

The antiquity oi the early Iron Age in India. 



257 - 



Chapter XII 

Maker. -jo- Daro — A remarkable Disco- 
very of an EneoEthic Si/e — Harappa and 
Nal — Sir John Marshall's reports 261 

The missing links. 273. The Rama* 
Guhakaand Krishna- Panda va culture-com- 
plex, 374 

Chapter XI II 

Prehistoric Copper and Brcnse finds 
from other sites ... ... 277 

Copper Age, 377. Sites, 277 Votive 
objects, 278. Celts, 279. Swords, 2S0. 
Harpoon-heads, 281. Distribution, 282. 
Rajpur, 288. Mathura, 283. Mainpuri, 284. 
Pariar, 2S4. Kosam, 284 Tamajuri Kahar- 
bari, 285. Bhagotors, 285. Gwadar, 286. 
Gungeria, 286. Bronze weapons, 288. 
Jubbulpore, 2S9. Fategarh, 289. Itawa, 291. 

Elliot find, 293. Cunningham find, 294. 
Punjab, 294. Hardoi, 297. Bithur, 298. 
Pariar, 299. 




CONTENTS 



xxi 



Chapter XIV 

Page 

The Indian Megaliths — Their Builders 
and Origin ... ... ... 301 

Vcdic references, 301. Tamil refer- 
ences. 303. Lauriya N'andangarh, 304. 

As lira Sites, 305. Ausironcsia, 309. Ery- 
thraean area, 310. N. and C. Asia, 311. 
Parallel evolution, 312. Single origin, 313. 
European connection, 314. Egyptian in- 
vention. 315. Copper Age invention, 317. 
Peake's theory, 318. The Nlegalithic 
peoples in India and Egypt, 320. Survivals, 

326. Mala Aryans, 328. Kadirs. 329. 
Kurumbars, 329. Fiji N'anga-affinities, 330. 

Good, 331. Oraons, 332. Mundas, 333. 
Assam tribes, 333. Ethnic or cultural 
phase, 334. Chronological euquiry, 336. 



Chapter XV 

The Megalithic Structures— Their ar- 
chitectural features , contents and Distri - 
button in India ... ... ... 340 

Dechclcttes classification, 340. Peet 
on architectural features, 341. Geographi- 
cal distribution, 343. Fergusson’s descrip, 
lions, 344. Longhurst's excavations, 349. 
Foote’s observations, 357. Adichanallur, 




CON* TENTS 



xxii 



Page 

359. Dr. Hunts excavations, 361. Indian 
Museum megalithic iron exhibits. 365 



Chapter XVI 

From txtinct to living types — Mammals 
— The Ray ana, Sialkot, Nala, Mohenjo- 
Daro and Adichanallur Human remains ... 367 

Mammals, 360. The early human 

remains, 372. Bavana and Sialkoc crania, 

373. Table of cranial measurements, 381. 

Mala cranium, 382. The Gorakhpur cranial 
fragments, 383. The Aditannalur Crania 
and megalithic fragments 3SS. Appendix 
to Chapter XVI. Aditannalur Crania, 393 
(by Dr. B. S. Guha, M.A , Ph. D.). 

Chapter XVII 

Prehistoric potteries and terracottas 0/ 
India ... ... ... 396 

The importance of pottery, 396. Ceramic 
Stratigraphy : Neolithic, 397. The earliest 
Neolithic potteries of India with incised 
patterns, 39B. The sarcophagous urns of 

chalcolithic times, 400. The big urns like 
that of neolithic Egypt and Babylon, 401. 
Pottery successions in Susa, Mesopotamia, 

Anau, and Egypt, 401. Musyan, 405. 




CONTENTS 



.win 



Paok 

Anau, 406. Early Egypt, 407. Yang-Shao 
Potteries, 409. Potteries ol the Bronze 
Ages and Iron Ages in Europe, 410. Three- 
legged vessels of Trojan facies, 412. The 
hut urns of Etruscan forms, 413. Pre- 
historic terracottas and figurines, 413. 

Nilgiri Specimens, 413. Scotforth Estate 
figurines, 413. Primitive Bhita lypcs, 414. 

Other ornamented and painted designs of 
the Copper and Early Iron Ages, 416. 

Elam and Anau designs on Beluchistan 
pottery, 417. Appendix to Chapter XVII 
—The Vase- Painters, 423. 

Chapter XVIII 

Culture — Sequence and Origins ... 427 

Synthetic knowledge, 427. Indian ideas 
o: cultural evolution, 427. Many civiliza- 
tions, 429. Ruggcri's Studies, 430. 
Taylor’s Scheme, 432. Dc Morgan and 
Early Paleolithic origins, 434- Paleolithic 
Siberia and China, 436. Pakcoiithic lndo- 
China, 439. Paleolithic origins, 440. 
Mesolithic origins and the Indo-Australian 
culture-complex, circa 14000 to gooo B.C., 

444. The Indo-Erythnean culture-complex, 
circa 9U00 B.C., 447. Prehistoric and 
Primitive cultures of to-day, 451. Neolithic 




xxiv 



CONTENTS 



Page 

and Rneolilhic problems in India and East 
and Central Asia. +53 Neolithic East, 

454- 

Appendix to Chapter VIII ... 458 

On Hie P re-historic cave-paintings at 
Raigarb (by Mr. Percy Brown, A.R.C.A.) 

Appendix II — Indian Rostrocarinates 468 
(by Rajendrakumar Bhattacharyya, M.A.) 

Additional Note on Indian Rostrocari- 
nates (by Biswanath Banerjee, M.Sc.) ... 476 
Notices of Prehistoric Finds , Sites, etc., 
in India (from LaTouche and Das) ... 479 

Index ... ... ... 493 




!a»ir I 



AHT 




Dratcn by K.D.C.] 



Soetliny's Pnlacclitli frcm Burma. 
[lioetro-C'crmate Type, natural *i«). 





LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Plate I.— Different views of Noetling's Pai.xo!ith 
from Burma — (Rostro-carinate type- 
natural size). From Prof. H. C. 
Das Gupta, M A. 

Plate II. — Wynne’s Godavari flake. (Drawn 
from Indian Museum Specimen by 
S. Rajkhowa, B.Sc.) 

Plate II I A.— Hackett's Narbada Coup-dc-poing 
(obverse). 

Plate IIIB . — Ibid (reverse drawn from Indian 
Museum Specimen by S. Rajkhowa, 
B.Sc.). 

Plate IV. — Blunt-edged Cuddapah Pre-Chellean 
forms leading to Chellean (A and B) 
and Mousterian types (C) (from 
Indian Museum). 

Plate V. — Chellean and Mousterian types from 
Indian Museum with conchoidal and 
stepped retouchings. 

Plate VI. — Bruce Foote's Guillotine type ofcoup- 
de-poings from Madras with oblique 
edge (A and B) and straight edge 
(C) like ' Gcspaltener Keikypus ' of 
Spain. 
d 




XXVI 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Plate VI 1.— A. Levallois flake from Paloncha, 
Godavari. 

B. Proto-Mousterian pointc from 
Attrampakkam, Chingleput 
(Madras) (first chipped imple- 
ment discovered in India). 

C. Godavari flake (Wynne)— Pre- 
Chcllcan. 

D. Early Capsian end-scraper from 
Morhana. 

E. F, G. Late Capsian pointes d cran 

from Serai Kela State. 



H. 


Spade-celt from Burma. 


Plate VIII — A. 


Early Capsian end-scraper from 




Jubbulpur. 


B. 


Early Capsian burin „ 


C. 


„ polyhedric „ 


D. 


„ pointc (Chatelperron) 


E. 


Late Capsian crescentic pygmy 




from Partabganj. 


F. 


„ triangular 


G. 


„ rhomboidal „ 


H. 


„ rectangular „ 


I. 


>• pygmies from Serai 



Kela State, Ghatsila and 
Chakradharpur. 

Plate IX — A celt from Salem, Core from Punjab, 
Shouldered-celt from Assam, a proto- 
celt. 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



XXVII 



Plate X — Hammerstoncs from Marpha and 

Banda, and ringslones Irom Burma 

and N. E. India. 

Plate XI — Copper axes from Midnapur and 
Pachumba similar to shouldered 
neoliths of Egypt and Susa and the 
notched celts of America. 

Plates XI 1, XIII, XIV, XV-Rock-carvings from 
Ghatsila of possibly Neolithic times 
similar to Australian rockcarvings. 

Plates XVI, XVII — Bayana cranium (frontal and 
parietal view) (by courtesy of Dr. B. 
S. Guha). 

Plate XVI II — Veddah, Punjabi male, Bayana and 
Sialkot crania compared (From 
Journal, Anthropological Society of 
Bombay.) 

Plate XIX— Frontal ar.d parietal views of Aditan- 
allur crania (by courtesy of Dr. 
B. S. Guha). 

Plate XXI— Rock-paintings by Balan river (by 
courtesy of Rai Bahadur P. Dayal, 
Curator, Lucknow Museum). 

Plate XXI 1 — Rock-painting at Likunia Dari (by 
courtesy ol Rai Bahadur P. Dayal, 
Curator, Lucknow Museum). 

Plates XXIU-XLVII— Cave-pamtings from 
Singanpur (by courtesy of Mr. 
Percy Brown, A.R.C.A.). 




XXVI5I 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Plate XLV1II — Encolithic Painted pottery 

designs: A. Kujadpura (Baroda), 

B. Bellary (Madras), C. Bangana- 
palle (Madras), D. Hampsagar 
(Hyderabad). E. Mohen-jo-Daro 
F, and G. Honan (China). 

Plate XL1X — Encolithic Painted pottery designs : 
A. Bcluchistan. B, Cand D. Balikh 
valley (Mesopotamia). E. Honan 
and Yang Shao. F, G. Mohcn-jo- 
Daro. II, K. Anau I, L. Susa I. 
Plate L — Encolithic painted pottery designs : 

A. Beluchistan. B. Erivan. 

C. Susa I. D. Susa 1. 

Plate LI— Monoliths at Barabaz3r, Shillong (by 

courtesy of Sacchidananda Ray, 

M.A.). 

Plate LI I — A. Dolmen sites, near Badabil. B. 

Menhirs near Badabil (Scraikcla 
State) (photo by N. K. Basu, M.Sc.). 
Plates LI II — Ho hut-paintings from Seraikela 
(photo by T. C. Das, M.A.). 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



CHAPTER I 

RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA— EARLIER 
STUDIES AND PRESENT OUTLOOK 

Man has tried to see his life steadily and see 
it whole more and more as days have gone by. 
History has, like the experimental sciences, tried 
to link together isolated phenomena and study 
them in bigger and bigger groups. It has felt 
more and more that human beings and behaviours 
as distributed in space and time may be studied 
in an orderly sequence and ultimately found to 
be subject to some laws and well-regulated forces 
however unknown and imperfectly understood 
they may be even to the present day. Thus in 
the words of Prof. Tcggart ‘ there has been an 
attempt to do for history what biologists are 
engaged in doing for the history of forms of life.' 
So to-day history is no longer a erv-as-dust 
catalogue of kings and battles which would 
invite the invectives of the incomparable Heine 
who complained in his Rei ebtlder of having to 




s 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



gel by heart a long list only to learn in later life 
that it was all wrong. History has indeed been 
made at times to moralise over the turns of the 
wheel of fortune or to emphasise the fleeting 
character of things. But then it is the kings and 
states or at best the mighty religions on account 
of the potent power they wielded that have been 
made the subject of classical studies in the t8th 
century. But it is in the Utter part of 19th 
century or rather in the aoth century that the 
'science of man' has revolutionised the entire 
historical outlook. It is from the standpoint of 
evolution that all en quirie 3 arc undertaken and 
the origin and growth of a particular people or 
the decline and fall of a particular state are taken 
as acts in one big drama of human history. The 
main trend of hu man events is studied along with 
environmental factors and rigorously subjected 
to biological and psychological enquiries. Thus 
Geology, Geography, Archaeology, Technology, 
Psychology, Biology and Sociology have all got 
to bring in their quota to the study of human 
history which is becoming thus a part and parcel 
of Anthropology. In other words, we have 
been led to “ the study of the creature man, 
considered as a material object and great group 
of individuals possessing many qualities. First, 
this being has to be described (ethnography) 
and subdivided into different races (ethnology) 
and then special attention has to be given to 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 3 

his physical constitution (somatology) and also 
to what he produces (technology). Closely asso- 
ciated with this Iasi and indeed an important 
part of it, is the search for the record he has 
left, consisting exclusively of such products 
belonging to past periods and preserved from 
destruction. This is Archaeology. But many 
of his productions arc not material and consist 
of institutions of various kinds Using this term 
in a broad sense institutions embrace language, 
customs, governments, religions, industries and 
ultimately art and literature. The study of 
these constitutes real history as distinguished 
from the mere histoire ba Haile ” 1 

So also the outlook about the age of 
man and the origins of civilisations has been 
completely revolutionised during the last century. 
The commercial and political contact of the 
East and West had its inevitable intellectual 
results. While a set of scholars began to decry 
the old traditional literature of India as forgeries 
of the Brahmins in the 18th century, another set 
went to the opposite extreme of accepting all that 
was found in ancient Sanskrit productions. One 
immediate effect was helping to knock on the 
head the old Hebrew notion of the antiquity of 
man and creation of earth going back only to one 
fine morning in October, 4004 B. C. as was 



• W*rl. C Mbm 0 / Mj), p. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



4 



seriously proved fay a Cambridge Vice-Chancellor 
amongst others and accepted by all scientists 
up to the days of Cuvier who died in 1832. 
Sanskrit works reckoning with an alarming 
mathematical precision the countless reons which 
had preceded the present Kali era calculated to 
begin on February 18th. B C. 3102, completely 
revolutionised this idea during the last century. 

Thus Reinach has shown beautifully that the 
now decried " Aryan " research- 
es did yeoman’s service in 
giving the death-blow to the orthodox idea of 
Hebrew being the oldest and the source of all 
languages. But these researches brought in 
their train what the French savant has so nicely 
expressed ' the mirage oriental.’ In the famous 
address to the Asiatic Society of Bengal at 
Calcutta in 1786, the President, Sir William 
Jones, drew attention 10 the striking similarities 
between Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, German and 



Ary*, U«Ur.«. 



Keltic, similarities that could only be explained 
by a common parentage. Bopp's Comparative 
Grammar (1833-1835) built upon this foundation 
established the science of comparative philology, 
and all the European languages except Basque, 
Finnic, Magyar and Turkish were comprised in 
what was called the Indo-germanic group. Dr. 
Thomas Young first used the word 1 Indo- 
European in 1813. This title is not so misleading 
but the more usual term Aryan, invented by the 




KACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 5 

late Professor Max MQller, is open to many 
objections. Arya is a Sanskrit adjective meaning 
noble, and in the Vedic hymns it appears to be 
a name assumed by the conquerors who intro- 
duced the language of the Vedas into India. 
Indra. the God of the Vedic peoples, is invoked as 
'Qrya ' and 1 suitprity ’ fine-nosed. He is called 
upon to discriminate between the white-skinned 
and black-skinned (Jcrstfatvacatn) noseless 
(iwSsitm) people. In the Zeudaves/a, the 

most ancient Persian text, the country of 
the Aryans is mentioned, and it was long 
said that Ariane, the district round Herat, 

was the cradle of the Aryan languages. 

Professor Max Muller in tS6t spoke not 

only of an Aryan language, but an Aryan 
race or family. Thus Reinach lucidly shows the 
excesses committed by the early philologues. 
He says : “The profound impression which was 
produced by the discovery of Sanskrit at the end 
of the last century ( 18th) amongst the savants of 
Europe is well known As this language happen- 
ed to possess a grammatical mechanism more 
complicated than others it was believed for a long 
time that it was the mother or at least the eldest 
sister of the Aryan languages A fabulous 
antiquity was ascribed to its literary monuments 
it was supposed for a long time, though not 
explicitly stated, that ' Aryaque ' or Sanskrit had 
beer, the language of the first men. India, 




6 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Asiatic plateaus and the pure Aryas, became the 
alpha and omega of erudition.’ 1 

The space in our command is too brief to 
dwell on all the famous researches about the 
' Centum ’ and ‘ Satam ' branches of the Indo- 
Europeans and their original primitive home. 
One can now read in Schrader’s Real Lexikon der 
Indo- GermanUchen Altertumskunie all that can 
be gathered from the philological side with some 
help later on from archajology. But along with 
these came the critical comparative expositions 
of the myths of the 4 Aryan peoples begun so 
ably by Max Mailer. Max Mttller was misled by 
his profound Sanskrit learning and it has yet to 
be found out how much of his nature-myths 
owed their origin to the Vcdic commentator 
Sftyaija. It is curious that S&yaQa was led to 
interpret such simple words as ' sanudram ' which 
means 'ocean' as ' antarxkqam,' sky ,‘ghrtam' 
meaning sacrificial clarified butter as ‘ udakat/i ' 
water, rain, etc. There were the philological Nairuk - 
las, commentators of the Ifgveda, who always 
had a fling at the so-called Atlihusik&s, historical 
commentators because they explained proper names 
as names of kings and not allegorically. 

In Europe also comparative mythology had 
come into being to make confusion worse 
confounded. A typical case would be that of 



U M Jrica’-»i (L‘ 18 SU. pp. 6 »»•*(). 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 7 

Ancient Greece which as much as India was 
subjected wholesale to the " Aryan 11 theories. 
In the domain of Greek researches no name 
stands higher than that of Professor Ridgeway 
and the fittest prologue to the memorial volume 
presented to him by all antiquarians who had 
revealed ihe glories of Crete, Myccnie and 
Hissarlic (Troy), in 1913 has been found to be a 
verse beginning with an indictment of Max MOlIer 
and his theories by Dr. A. D. Godley thus: 

" E’en when Max Muller, celebrated man, 

Conceived the past upon a different plan, 

Divulged the fact and pleased the world therewith 
That Agamemnon was a so'ar myth; 

And first presented to our mental view 
The glorious certainty that naught was true I 
E’en then each legend howsoe’er designed 
Was still a figment of the Gracian mind ! 

No part of dim antiquity, but it 
Was made or fancied by Hellenic wit-” 

And thus Hall has truly pointed out how "if 
we look to the Greek histories of thirty years 
ago, we find their writers, when dealing with the 
beginnings of Greek culture, talking under the 
influence of philological theories of Max MOllei 
and how Archarology had to rescue history from the 
morass into which philology had dragged her.’’ 1 



' -4^.0. JrrtH.olo» v p. I. 




s 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



True it is that excesses have sometimes been 
made here also in swinging the pendulum too much 
on another side. In Europe as soor. ns the 
' Aryan theories were discredited, all the graces of 
culture began to be ascribed to the new favourite, 
the Mediterranean race. In India, the Dravidian 
culture similarly began to be upheld and there 
was a glib talk of the Dravidian race. Here the 
sound commonsense of European savants should 
act as a warning. As says Reinach (though we 
should leave aside his ethnology) “should one 
speak of the Mediterranean race ? After having 
attributed all the virtues to the Aryan, mythic 
creature, we are afraid of inaugurating anew cult 
and not less arbitrary, that cf Mediterranean 
We should not forget that the men are above all 
fashioned by mixture and that the word ' race ' 
more and more discredited will come to appear 
perhaps a little devoid of sense." 1 

Now if Prchistonc Archaeology has become 
the basis oi the histories of ancient Greece and 
Rome, if it has been definitely recognised that 
any historical attempt to deal with the ancient 
cultures of those two lands 
"'w'*- 1 "- without a proper and thorough 
enquiry into their forerunners in 
civilisation, the Creto-/£geans or Etruscans, is 
bound to end in failure, is not the case the same 



U> cotillion d'Uriant an Aatbrepoloffia (i'4rv'"rop., p fS7). 




RACES AND CULTURSS IN INDIA 



9 



as regards India? Of course though no 
Schliemannic excavations have come from India, 
except perhaps very recently at Mohen-jo-daro, so 
far, the accepted basis of things is solely the 
result of inferences drawn largely from the arch;e- 
ologica! discoveries mostly of Asokan and post- 
Asokan times. These throw little light on the 
ancient historical traditions, literary or otherwise, 
of the Hindus, Buddhists and Jainas. Now that 
the value of traditions cannot be minimised do 
we not get as yet but a study of the history 
of India from the wrong end? Should not the 
light of more ancient discoveries be turned 
over ancient India as it has been done with so 
marvellous success in the case of Egypt and 
Western Asia? And now that prehistoric 

Egypt and prehistoric Chaldea have been laid 
bare no one doubts the datings in thousands 
of years of the cultures of these two lands and 
thus their histories have been placed on 
a sound tooting. But the traces of prehistoric 
man -and his culture are being unearthed in 
India for over fifty years and yet no 

systematic historical treatment has been offered 
of them. 

It is our business here to accumulate that 
scraphoap of respectable sire about the pre- 
historic antiquities of India and with the aid 
of Ethnology to arrange them on the basis of 
European methods and to point out their 




10 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



historical bearings on the earliest page of Indian 
history. Now it might be 
»»* r ~- that here the old philological 
theories would be confirmed and 
the word " Aryan," would be re-established 
being more concerned with the north of 
India and its neighbouring countries (the 
• Ariane, 1 1 of the ancient Western writers), 
from which one branch at least moved eastwards 
who became the Hindus, i. e., Sindhu-bank 
dwellers in the Vedic age and spread over the 
rest of India later on Still though much has 
been written about the invading race from the 
North-West and even their career of conquest 
has been mapped out from their ancient literature, 
about what they found in India, and the cultures 
that were handed over to them Indian history 
is yet very vague. But we all know to-day that 
N&la skull and Mohen-jo-daro finds are possibly 
of the Copper Age of India and of a Sumero- 
Indian Zone of the second and third millennium 
B. C. Scholars like Dr. Coomarswamy had come 
to recognise a distinct Southern maritime Pre- 
Mycenean element, from the purely technological 
standpoint, in the earliest Indian arts and crafts. 
Ruggexi from the physical aspect was disposed to 
speak of the Indo-African type in connection with 
the Dravidian. Elliot Smith and his sociological 



» Stmhft. McCrinillr*« fn»!m, p W 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



1 1 



students headed by Perry talked much of an 
Indo-Egyptian culture complex. Thus in India 
there was in ancient times a Northern culture 
associated with »hc Vedic peoples and a southern 
culture quite distinct from it We are not 
certain how much of the culture described in the 
historical epics, the RamQyaqa and the Mah o- 
bhirata would go to the respective zones. Nor 
can we say definitely whether the Rgvedic 
culture itself is not a product of two or more 
different peoples. The legends of the struggle 
between the Brahmins and Ksatriyas and the 
sages Vafiftha and Visvamitra, their respective 
champions may refer to two sections of the Vedic 
Indo-Europeans or two more divergent races. 
The South- Indian or Dravidian culture has been 
even thought by some scholars like Hall to be 
anterior to early Sumeio-Elamiie cultures. 

But we do not stop even there. As the story of 

man in England does not begin 
Xxu 0D l ealturtt. & . - . _ 6 

with the coming ot the Saxons 

or the Roman occupation but is carried back to t he 
earliest quaternary epoch when prehistoric man 
{Homo DaxBsani without the tooth of Pan vet us) 
hunted the meridional elephants with rude stone 
implements of a distinctly recognisable artistic 
type (pre-chellean or rostrocariaaie) so also 
there arc unerring proofs of the existence of 
human culture in India from late Tertiary and 
Quaternary times. This was but the Paheolishic 




PRRH ISTOR1C INDIA 



12 

and Neolithic phases and a long time would 
elapse before we would be able lo connect them 
with the cultures and traditions of the early days 
of history. Man was the hunter and later on 
but the crude agriculturist and living more like the 
Andamanese and Forest Veddas ol to-day than 



the Asuras and Anaryas described in the J$g 
veda as conquered with their ‘ mctallcd-castles 1 
by the invading peoples. But it is rather a 
travesty of science like the attempt to read the 
Bible in Pleistocene Paleontology by Rev. Dr. 
James Wright {7 he Antiquity of Man , 1914), 
to ascribe a Miocene antiquity to the Rgvedic 
culture {vide Dr. A’oinaschandra Das — Jig- 
Vedic India , Calcutta, 1920) which its own 
tradition pins it down lo the Ayas (Bronze or 
Early Iron) stage. 

So it is that Dussaud opens his masterly 
treatise on ‘ Les Civilisation 
prekellenniques,' thus: “It is 
the glorious achievement of 
the nineteenth century to have pierced beyond the 
limits of history and to have found vestiges of 
human activity anterior to all written record, in 
a word, to have constituted * Prehistory.' It 
has brought into being new methods, which no- 
body denies at the present day, and utilises the 
data furnished by geology, ethnography and 
archeology.” In the words of Decheletle, the 
greatest prehistoric archeologist, (1) with 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



'3 



the geologists, the prehistorian has to study the 
ancient human remains and determine their age 
and order of succession by the stratigraphic 
method ; (2) Paleontology procures for him 

the fossils indicating the relative age ; (3) 
Ethnography aids the prehistorian in his study 
of the industrial vestiges and conditions of 
existence of primitive man; and lastly {4) 
Typological method allows him, in the absence oi 
all others (stratigraphic, paleontological, ethnogra- 
phic) to arrange the order and evolution of 
things.' This science, in the words of a President 
of the Royal Anthropological Institute, "has 
enormous value in reproducing for us in an 
absolutely accurate form the history of prehistoric 
times. In critical literature we are confronted 
with varying accounts of historians set side by 
side whereas the advantage here is that the 
evidence is truly set before us."' But a word oi 
caution is needed. It is often forgotten that 
there can be no hard and fast distinction between 
history and prehistory. This is brought about 
very luminously by the great Americanist Holmes 
thus : " Prehistory signifies merely pre-written 
history. Since history musi be regarded as 
embracing the entire record of the race, whatso- 
ever form it may take, there can in reality be no 



> arcWvfw i' («■> (t’a-nWipiv. p««» t>. pp. 2 :. 

■ Jewnal H. iVoj> /».(. 1WU. |>. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



14 

such thing as 1 Prehistoric period ’ or 1 Prehistoric 
ArchiEology.’ The beginning of written record is 
not the end of unwritten record either for the race 
as a whole or lor any of the groups. The unwritten 
phase in no case ceases with the beginning of the 
written phase of the history of any people; 
a large part of the current history, in all cases, 
being unwritten passes, unless temporarily 
conserved by tradition or by some non-purpose- 
ful method, directly into the vast body of the 
subject-matter of archaalogical science or other- 
wise into the great blank of oblivion." 1 

The value of Ethnography to prehistoric 
Archeology is very great ; the 
iu “- two branches of science are 
in fact complementary to each 
other and Ethnography can throw a most useful 
light upon archeological problems. Lubbock 
has thus illustrated all phases of prehistoric life 
from modern primitive peoples and Sollas has 
tried to establish more direct correlations between 
some ' Ancient Hunters' and modern ones. In 
India, the caste-system is often regarded as an 
attempt at social segregation of different races 
and sometimes, if possible, of divergent cultures. 
Thus the Andamanese, whose stone implements 
of to-day can hardly be distinguished from 
prehistoric implements amidst which they had been 



‘ HumBwi of Amvuo.A-'^tQ?, 1919, Pari I, p. 5 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



>5 



kept by mistake in the Indian Museum, perhaps 
perpetuates directly a culture predominant in the 
Indian Peninsula in pleistocene and possibly 
earlier times. So also, the similarity in winter 
houses of Arctic peoples, with their covering of 
earth, to the chambered barrows suggested the 
reasonable explanation that these barrows were 
really survivals of actual houses. It is a common 
practice among the Veddas to bury a man 
in his own cave, or by a development of this 
idea, in a tomb resembling a cave, and it is 
therefore natural to infer that the chambered 
barrows are tombs ol this description. In the 
same way the existing pile- villages of New- 
Guinca and other Asiatic Islands provide a most 
lifelike illustration of the vanished lake-dwellings 
of Switzerland Again from ethnographical 
specimens from Assam, Chota Nagpur and 
Nilgiris of wood, skin, basket-work or matting, 
we may form some idea of the costumes and 
household utensils of primitive man in India 
which have so completely disappeared. In all 
probability, therefore, the resemblance between 
the perishable productions of the modern savage 
arid those of prehistoric man, which are now 
lost, was proportionately as great as that which 
undoubtedly exists in the case of implements of 
stone and bone which have remained. 1 



nta British Mcmud, 0«JJr /> >"<• Stone ?P H -TO. 




l6 PREHISTORIC INDIA 

Lately attempts are being made especially by 
continental scholars to study 
1*0 the Iacts as a whole and to 

systematise them into chronological, cultural 
and racial groupings. The method, as Montana - 
don has happily put it, is this: "For obtaining 
some light on the parentage and succession 
of races and civilisations, history based on 
the written records and rising up to main-springs 
chalks out an ascending path. Quite contrarily 
prehistory tries to attack this problem at 
the very origins and thus follows, so to 
speak, a reverse ascending track. Linguistics, 
Ethnology and modem Anthropology attaching 
themselves to forms persistent from the past 
to the present, march to the common meeting 
ground by a course which we might speak 
of as horizontal. These diverse enquiries 
if incorporated into each other would form 
a bundle of definitive certitudes.’’ 1 It is 

by the help of this synthetic method developed 
from Ratzel, Graebner and Paler Schmidt that 
during the last few years Prof. Elliot Smith, 
Dr. Rivers and their brilliant following have 
made cultures widely separated, in time and 
space as the Old and the New Worlds in 
Very early and late times, form part of one 
common culture- drift. 



1 ni/>n d'AntXrrp yinmilf. 1919. pp. 9 *-R. 




PtATl II 




Pio-chollcim llaliv — Gmlavnn 





KACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA I 7 

ll is a pretty long time since various stray 
notices began to appear in 
uEZSZ. "" Geological. Anthropological and 
Oriental Journals about the 
stone implements ol Ancient India Fergusson 
treated the megalithic part of this subject with 
his usual thoroughness in his Rude Stone 
Monuments in ail Countries. Bui no con- 
nected account of oldest India has yet been 
compiled il we except Logan's rapid and short 
survey of the Old Chipped Stones of India. 
Though in the words of a reviewer, “ A prehistoric 
survey on scientific lines ol Southern India is 
still a desideratum ” and though even in Hydera- 
bad Archeological Society’s Journal five years 
ago 1 wc read how 1 there are now still in H. E. II. 
N team's dominions alone a thousand unexplored 
megalithic remains,' it cannot be denied that we 
have already got a large amount of material 
ready to hand to deal with The published 
catalogues alone of the prehistoric collections 
in the museums of India are already five in 
number: — (1) The Catalogue of the Prehistoric 
Antiquities, Madras Museum (1901), (2) 
Catalogue raisonni of the Foote Collection 
of Indian Pie-historic and Proto-historic 
Antiquities by R. B. Foote (1914). ( 3 ) 

> Smnmt Pin..*, K.n.O.E-PnWWr« fnJ.« (Ml-Mt), p Si 
• r 00. 



3 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



on the Ages and Distribution of the Foote 
Collection (1916), (4) Catalogue of the Pre- 
historic Antiquities from Adiehnnallur and 
Ptntmbair, by A. Rea (1915) and (5) Catalogue 
raisonni of the Prehistoric Antiquities in the 
Indian Museum at Calcutta by Coggin Broivn 
edited by Sir John Marshall (1917) Besides 
these, in the numerous provincial museums there 
lie uncatalogucd, hundreds of pakeoliths, neoliths 
and Copper and Iron Age artifacts in which little 
interest has been aroused mainly owing to the 
lack of synthetic interpreters. 

It may indeed be argued that all labours in 
this direction would be mere 
irMcjr* 1 " 1 * "" l tt ' misdirected energy so long as 
all the possible data arc not 
at hand and it would be prudent to wait 
till all the prehistoric sites and megalithic 
monuments are laid bare by excavations. But 
it must be definitely noted ihal until proper 
spade-work is done with ihe actual materials 
already available there is no earthly use of 
accumulating facts quA facts and no chance 
of definite steps being taken towards their 
identification, classification and grouping The 
Madras Museum collection had so long been 
in the show-cases but it is only recently when 



they were examined afresh that definite marks 
on the prehistoric pottery were found out. The 
recent experience with Mohen-jo-daro finds has 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 19 

been a typical case in point. The learned 
excavator was no doubt impressed with its 
antiquity but nothing could be made out by 
himself or his other colleagues in the Archteo- 
logical Department in India. Yet within a week 
of the publication of the illustrations of the finds 
in the Illustrated London jVevs, the seals and 
potteries were hailed by Assyriologists as having 
Sumero-Eiamite affinities, so striking were the 
similarities Even then at the present stage 
we should coine to conclusions always with 
reservations and try to keep an open mind waiting 
for the excavations. The vestiges of culture, the 
stone implements, the ceramic and other arts 
should all be taken and carefully examined and 
compared with all other similar cultures and 
resuits should then be deduced therefrom. Thus 
there should be a descriptive portion with all 
scientific analogies which would be little liable to 
doubt And then only there should be an attempt 
to grapple with the various interesting problems 
arising out of them, which would be of a more 
or less controversial kind, and it is best not 
to have a preconceived theory, Aryan or 
Dravidian, Indo-European or Indo- Sumerian. It 
is well-known how an intensive study of the 
technology of the stone implements aided 
by geological and paleontological observations 
has settled once for all the various stages of 
culture in the Paleolithic age and it has been 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



20 

found worth while to classify the Indkin finds 
typologically in absence of any negative data 
according to the accepted methods of the West. 
The light of later research may lead us to modify 
our groupings and probably the very basis might be 
changed. It would probably be more profitable to 
speak of an upper Siwalik (Pliocene), Posl-Siwalik 
or Narbada (Early Pleistocene), Karnul, Upper 
Ganges-Goalpara and Banda-Vindhya as I-ate 
Pleistocene. But this is based more on typological 
and technological studies and should wait till the 
Indian Geologist and Paleontologist is humoured 
to take to Quaternary and Recent times in right 
earnest. That a treat awaits him there has 
been even recently (on the occasion of the 
Rhodesia find) pointed out by the eminent 
anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith, M.D., F.R.S., 
who had already observed in 1916:' "India is 
part of the world from which the students of 
early man has expected so much and so far has 
obtained so little." 

It is perhaps idle speculation to think whether 

future excavations (which un- 
yooil reraniM. , , , . 

fortunately has scarcely begun) 

would bring to light, anent the Sivapithecus ar.d 
Dryopithecus, greater variability and mutations, 
in the more favourable conditions cf climate in 
India, of human types, situated so near the 
zone of dispersal of Miocene and Pliocene times. 



7Y1I Autfrtv l.' Han (1410X p. 246 




RACES AND CUl.Tl'KKS IN INDIA 21 

The key to the stages of human evolution 
in the more dislant parts might be found 
here, to the early man, homo Davsoni, the 
great Neanderthaloid races as al Broken Hill 
or Gallipoli, the more polished Cromagnon 
type, the Proto-Negro type as from Mentone, 
the aboriginal type persistent through dim 
ages of antiquity as at Boskop or Talgai 
and in North America. Now the talc of 
human shape and form and build in India 
is carried a pretty long way into the past by 
the skulls discovered at Gorakhpur, Bayana and 
Sialkot, as well as at Nal and Adichannallur. 
though these dim into insignificance beside the 
previously mentioned types in point of antiquity 
or interest. 

But though as vet human bones in India 

have allowed us little facility 
PuMItfcic Ij , , . , . , 

to track fns brain capacity tar 

into the distant ages, there are numerous remains 
of undoubted human origin associated with 
animal bones or found in situ by competent 
geologists to allow us to build up a considerable 
portion of the structure of the civilisation in 
which man flourished in India Here, as at 
every step, the works on European culture from 
technological and typological standpoint offer us 
not only safe methods but the sole criteria at times 
on which to base our studies. For out of the 5 
or 6 thousand stone implements in the Indian 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



32 

Museum that I examined, only two had recorded 
paleontological associated remains. Yet the 
rest are so remarkably identical with European 
types and satisfy to such a nicety the retouch 
tests that we cannot reject them. So even taking 
the two as standards we can speak at least of one 
as a Chclleo-Acheullean cvuf-de-po\ng and the 
other possibly a precursor of Aurignacian flake3. 
Of course, time may show that the particular order 
of development of Palaeolithic cultures indicated 
by the terms, Keutelian, Mafflian, Mesvinian, 
Strepian, Chcllean, Acheullean, Mousterian, 
Aurignacian, Solutrian, Magdalenian and Azilian 
hold goad of France or Europe alone rather than 
of this country. But when it is remembered that 
Europe by its geographical situation is the natural 
terminus on the Atlantic coast of Pleistocene and 
prehistoric Eurasiatic culture, its claims for being 
the standard of comparative culture become 
obvious. Similarly India is the natural end of 
the drift of cultures towards ihe Indian Ocean 
as China is towards the Pacific coast and it 
seems from the state of prehistoric studies in 
Indo-Chir.a that new standards of comparison 
might be set up from these Eastern ends. The 
division of the Stone Age into Palaeolithic, Meso- 
lithic, and Neolithic and the modem tendency 
to bring in a third forerunner, the Eolithic, are 
very convenient and would, I hope, er.durc. So 
far as Indian eoliths are concerned, 1 have been 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 23 



faced with the countless ‘ rostro-carinate ' types 
especially fro:n the single site of Cuddapah and 
one of my students has studied them in a series 
d Id Reid Moir as evolving into batiform and 
patessiform coup-de-poings and scrapers. The 
other succeeding stages nf culture have come in 
also for their cue share, though it has been 
impossible to recognise all the stages and so some 
intermediate ones had to he left aside. Passing 
now to the special typological studies in 
India vc have got to refer to the two laudable 
attempts at dealing with the oldest strata of 
Indian prehistory in some systematic shape by 
I.ogan in his ' Old Chipped Stones of Indie, 1 and 
Btuce Foote in his Notes on the Ages and 
Distribution of the Prehistoric and Protohistoric 
Antiquities of the Poole Collection of the Madras 
Museum as already mentioned. The former was 
published in 1906 and though the latter has been 
brought out in 1916 by Mr. Henderson, as his 
preface shows, it was long on the anvil and, in 
fact, the composition was most likely finished by 
the late eminent Indian geolog : st at least 12 
years before its publication as is quite patent from 
its internal evidence But Anthropology has 
undergone a great revolution within the last 
two decades. Duckworth in his prehistoric Man 
(1912) speaks of the extraordinarily fruitful results 
of excavation during the last ten years which may 
challenge comparison with those of any other 




24 PREHISTORIC INDIA 

period of similar duration, and even this record 
has been beaten by the discovery of the Pilldovvn, 
Broken Hill, Taung and Gallipoli skulls. Archeo- 
logical and Anthropological studies have moved 
with too rapid a rate at the present day to allow 
us to profit very much by the works ol Logan and 
Bruce Foote. Even the catalogue issued in 1917 
by Coggin Brown lumps together all round rough 
stone implements as palreoliths, and all elon- 
gated specimens as bouchers. So also wherever 
chips of old stones or neoliths have been found, 
they have been all classed as flakes under 
the chapter on neoliths. Yet one can easily 
distinguish by conchoidai, stepped, nibbling and 
other retouches that most of them belong to the 
respective paleolithic phases. The difficulty is, 
Rakes continued to be used in India probably for 
ritual purposes in later ages as in a Gupta 
stratum of the 5th century' A. D. even they have 
been found. But these later types can be 
distinguished as not meant for use. So with a 
word of high praise to Logan's summarisation of 
the geological aspect of the localities in which the 
worked stones of India occur we have to take note 
of the natural narrowness of his outlook by just 
quoting a few of his sentences : “ We may 

therefore picture our precursors as short brown 
apes, no bigger than the African pygmies and 
probably not very brutal in face, living in com- 
panies as large as their means of subsistence would 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 25 

allow and endowed with the primary virtues of 
courage, co-operation and obedience to leader 
but not necessarily anything else that wc should 
call virtue,' 1 — ‘ the race that invented the river- 
drift palmoliths 1 take to have been exclusively 
the long-headed race which inhabited Europe in 
the earliest times known to us and which was 
destined to become the ancestors of the white 
races in its three main divisions of Aryans, 
Semites and Berber,’ — are sentences which 
neither Prehistoric Archaeology nor Ethnology 
nor even Comparative Philology would think of 
at the present day. Then again, I doubt whether 
only a strong prejudice to Tertiary man alone 
does not lead him to increase in large figures the 
duration of the Pleistocene age in India and bring 
down the earliest vestiges of human existence 
there to middle or late Quaternary age. The last 
charge can be brought against Bruce Foote even. 
Bruce Foote’s last work is more a geographical 
study as Logan’s is a geological one, and both 
of them suffer from doing little justice to the 
cultural and evolutionary aspect. He has 
indeed recognised the value of Ethnography for 
a solution of the problems of culture of the 
older people but he has missed one important 
point that in this, the range of comparison for 
enquiry and study should at first be limited to 
the Indian or neighbouring savage tribes most 
of whom are very possibly survivals, ‘ vestigeal 



4 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



26 

organs,' as it were, of the tale of past human 
life and its culture in this country. That is 
why in the course of Indian researches care has 
always to be taken to trace out the existence 
of archaic implements and their methods of 
use amongst the existing primitive tribes of India 
on the one hand and also to take note of 
the changes in them during the later higher 
civilisations in this country. 

Thus an explanation of the use of ringstone is 
possible by the study, for instance, of the chakra 
(discus) on the hand of Vi$nu meant to be 
hurled at an enemy, or the shouldered celt 
may be studied in its multiform shapes as 
Ihe thunderweapon in the hands of Ruddhist, 
Hindu and Jaina icons. When we remember 
that India might still preserve however disguised 
in different strata of its society and peoples 
on account of its caste-system and tolerant 
attitude, some elements of the world- wide culture 
movements nf the past, its study becomes more 
interesting than of the extreme west European 
countries. Thus the distribution of rostro-cari- 
nates 1 in Kent and Cuddapah,’ of paleolithic 
and neolithic an designs identical in India 
and Australia, of pygmy flints over maritime 
tracts and fluvial ile parts accessible by sea, of 
neolithic and chalcolithic forms in India and 
Egypt, of banded and grooved hammers and 
shouldered celts in N. F. India and S. E. Asia and 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



possibly America, of identical linear designs on 
pottery from Central Asia, Be'uchistan and the 
Deccan, and occurrence of linear alphabetiforms 
of the Proto- Egyptian, Sumerian and sometimes 
Minoan type in megalithic pottery from the 
Dcccan and the Sumeio-Elamite similarities of 
eneolithic seals from Harappa and Mohen-jo-daro, 
might be fruitful studies on the rise and decay 
of cultures and their origin and diffusion. 

A study of these parallels is of vita! importance. 

In the study of human culture 
°' as 3 " hole ,h e invention and 
diffusion of particular traits call 
for special attention What are the factors 
that come to operate in raising the intellectual 
level of a particular group at a particular spot 
of the earth ? Are cultures mere idea-systems 
which have a mental life-cycle of birth, growth 
and decay ? Are the births and deaths of rultuics 
operated upon by forces similar to those that 
saw the rise and extinction of a particular set of 
dominant creatures in a particular age ? The 
European anthropologists are content with 
studying the phenomena in relation to their 
environments. Three sharply distinguished schools 
stand out, e.g-, the British, dominated by the 
evolutionary idea, the Trench, working out the 
factor of sociological environments and the German, 
bringing to prominence the parts played by 
cultural and racial movements in prehistoric times. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



It is the last with its practical results worked out 
by a recent body of brilliant British anthropologists 
sometimes ad absurdum, that has bound up 
intimately prehistoric and primitive studies, and 
has well nigh made anthropology the sole if 
not the most fruitful source for recovering the first 
few pages of the history of mankind in general 
or of any particular tribe. It is well to understand 
clearly the European standpoints and we can 
do no better than turn to the lucid exposition 
by the master mind of Dr. Rivers 1 : — " The 
efforts of British anthropologists are devoted 
to tracing out the evolution of custom and 
institution. Where similarities are found in different 
parts of the world, it is assumed, almost as 
an axiom, that they are due to independent origin 
and development, and this in its turn is ascribed 
to the fundamental similarity of the workings of 
the human mind all over the world, so that given 
similar conditions, similar customs and institutions 
will come into existence and develop on the 
same lines. 

" In France, it is held that the psychology of 
the individual cannot be used as a guide to the 
collective actions of men in early stages of social 
evolution, still less the psychology of the individual 
whose social ideas have been moulded by the 
long ages of evolution which have made our 

' PifiiMooli. A il'lnua. SooUun E. BtMtk Auwi.-ton 

1811 , 




RACKS AND CUI.TL'RES IN INDIA 



29 



own society what it is. It is urged that the 
study of Sociology required the application of 
principles and methods of investigation peculiar 
to itself. 



“ In Germany, we find the most fundamental 
difference in standpoint and method. The 
movement forme.d part of the general revolt 
not merely agains: Darwinism which is so 
prominent in Germany but it seems against 
the whole idea of evolution, either in the 
forms of material objects or in social and 
religious institutions, the modem German 
school sees only the evidence of mixture of 
cultures, either with or without an accompanying 
mixture of the races to which these cultures 
belonged. " 

Wc find that none of these explanations 
is satisfactory and complete by itself. Culture- 
migrations have occurred, the social environment 
lias reacted upon the thoughts of the peoples, and 
evolution and independent thinking cannot also 
be ruled out. But is it not that the thought of 
humanity as a whole has broadened with the 
process of the suns ? Can it not be said that 
each idea-system had its phases of expansion, 
stagnation and contraction and that it was 



bom by the action, re-action and interaction of 
thoughts within and without the group ? About 
higher thought-forces operating upon these wc 
know but little at present. 




3 ° 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



So we see as Gracbncr 1 pointed out 'that 
any good work about even a 
Tim coafcui of people, geographically restricted small 
wchn Q *‘°* 1 tract of land should form, so 
to say, the rallying point of 
far-reaching researches. _No data, not the 
slightest relations between island and island and 
people and people are negligible in construe i mg 
human history. For even while dealing with 
strange and foreign interconnections we deal 
but with our own things and seek to dive into 
the beginnings of our own history, as in prehis- 
toric times humanity was linked together in 
well- connected groups. ' These various groups 
had become sharply differentiated from each 
other, be it owing to earlier separation from 
the common cradle-land or modification due to 
difference of habitat, that is to say, in boreal or 
equatorial regions. Thus they were in different 
levels of culture without which culture-contact 
would not have been possible or at. leas: the 
influence would not have been felt. But we 
must not allow ourselves to forget which unfor- 
tunatcly the German school is often led to do, that 
not a mechanical process alone but well-defined 
psychological processes were at work. Thus 
Dr. Rivers has clearly formulated them :* 



‘ Dta moUnMadw BogWlkotlur. AVhnpai. IV. p. 103* 
• Riijv*u*v Ctwximo'dUM PoJamr, 1011, pp. 




RACES AND CU.TURES IN INDIA 31 

“ High organisation of social structure, a 
refined and exalted religion, high a:sthetic 
ideals finding their accomplishment in works of 
art, a language capable of expressing the finest 
shades of meaning, all these arc important when 
we have to do with settlements among those 
already civilised. To the uncivilised they are 
oJ small importance beside the purely material 
aspects of culture It is the knife and the 
match, the steamship, the house and its furni- 
ture, but above all and beyond all the fire-arms 
of the European which impress the man of rude 
culture and lead him to regard their possessors 
as beings of higher order than himself. It is 
the recognition of ihc superiority of the material 
objects and arts which precedes and makes 
possible the acceptance of other elements of 
an introduced culture." Bui after all material 
culture is but the expression of a certain stage of 
mental development. The different culture- 
levels are the material embodiments of different 
mind-levels It is the elfort to bring about a 
state of equilibrium between the different mind- 
levcls that is at the back of the history of culture- 
contact and culture-migrations. It is not mere 
greed or conceit that prompts the conqueror 
to civilise the world or the prophet to enlighten 
the ignorant by imposing his own thoughts npun 
the reluctant majority by the sword or love. It 
is perhaps some mental law of mind-levels seeking 




3 = 



PRBHISTORir INDIA 



ease by equilibrium that is a vital motive force. 
As the Indian seers of the Upaniqhad period were 
impelled to cry out from within " Hear ye all of 
the Universe, ye children of immortality " so arc 
all exponents of a newly evolved higher culture. 
Wc now understand partly the circumstances 
which lead to commingling of cultures. Rut the 
results arc something like a chemical compound, 
with quite a new set of properties or a biological 
zygote with an individual life of its own. 
Dr. Marrett clearly explains it thus:' "For 
methodological purposes we can group the 
influences at work in culture-contact under various 
heads, one set relating to environment, another 
to material culture, a third to social organisation 
and a fourth to language and lore. Most 
important of all, however, is it to grasp the 
nature of the synthesis whereby such diverse 
influences unite so as to bring a new form 
of culture into being. This is not a mechanical 
but a spiritual process ; th‘ law of which would 
seem to be that, just as in the mental development 
of the individual a conflict of impressions invites 
selective attention, so in the spiritual development 
of society a clash of cultures awakes latent 
energies of a constructive kind. Explanation 
along such lines will be at once historical 
inasmuch as it has reference to the movements of 



IferrMl. PneMifl and MJu r«, 102). j>. ?3 




RACES AND CULTURBS IN INDIA 



33 



peoples whereby the culture-contact was brought 
about, and evolutionary because the creative effort 
of which such contact is the bare occasion 
must be accounted for in terms of a self-active, 
self-unfolding soul." Thus a culture, whatever its 
origin be, however complex might be its constitu- 
tion, may be called a mental organism. Properly 
understood, completely analysed and assigned 
its right place with what preceded and what 
followed, it would give us an insight into the finer 
forces in operation that bring into prominence 
one group here and one group there in this or 
that particular point of time. Studied in this 
light, when the process is completely discovered, 
wc can map out the future of cultures from the 
general trend of their past behaviour. Such an 
angle of vision is specially needed in properly 
understanding the culture of India where time and 
again foreign cultures have blended and left 
stratified records in art and archeology as in the 
case of the Grreco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. And 
Hinduism itself with a world-wide catholicity along 
with an insular individualistic narrowness would 
continue to be a standing riddle unless the various 
culture-complexes of which it is composed are 
stratigraphically studied in this light. 

In fact Hinduism or rather ‘ Indianism ' 

Tim 4UW tUMfa carri « with il ,he s,3m P of a 
la 'indfenkm.' continuous process of modi- 

fication and adaptation to the various phases of 

5 




3*1 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



cultures coming from without or evolving 
within. So in spite of a cle.ir.cut individuality 
of its own, it has nevertheless dragged various 
inconsistent elements which had been finding 
place in it ever since prehistoric times. As 
the lesson of Comparative Anatomy is that the 
persistence of primitive traits hi man is a sign of 
strength rather than weakness, it is possible 
that to this is due its remarkable vitality. Thus 
it is a remarkable fact that certain cultural 
elements which saw' the inception of proto- 
Egyptian civilisation and passed away with 
the mighty civilisation of the Nile still survive 
in the Deccan. Elliot Smith thus has been 
drawing attention to ‘these remarkable identities 
ol customs and beliefs found in Dravidian 
India and East Africa showing the fundamental 
unity and community of origin of the earliest 
cultures of Southern Asiatic and North-East 
Alrican littorals .' 1 So Bishop Whitehead in 
the course of his study of some crude strata 
of religion in the Deccan points out': — “ What 
we now call Hinduism, therefore, is a strange 
medley of the most diverse forces of religion, 
ranging from the most subtle and abstruse 
systems of philosophy to primitive forms of 
animism. At the same time, the primitive 



• it, in, ieis,p. 13. 

• r»- raiojw o*it of i»i« p. ia. 




RACES AND CULTl-RES IN INDIA' 35 



forms of Dravidian religion have been in 
their turn greatly modified by a Brahman 
influence For the most part, the same people in 
town and village worship the village deities and 
the Brahman gods. There arc a few aboriginal 
tribes in some of the hill tracts who are still un- 
affected by Brfthman ideas or customs, but in 
the vast majority of the districts the worship of 
the village deities and the worship of Shiva and 
Vishnu go on side by side ; just as in China 
Confucianism and Taoism arc not rival religions 
but complementary creeds. To the student of 
comparative religion this study is interesting 
because it reveals many points of contact 
with primitive forms of religion in other lands 
and also it enables the student to see these 
primitive religious ideas in very different 
stages of development- Thus in India we 

have the peculiar phenomena of different 
culture-levels and different strata of group- 
mind existing side by side. The tendency 
in other places has been to fuse them into 
one whole and to obliterate the previous steps 
altogether. In India the tendency of fusion and 
federation has gone hand in hand. While we 
get a highly complicated caste-system trying to 
maintain the separate identity of different groups 
yet confederating them we get in the vast corpus 
of Hinduism itself different elements coalesced 
and fused to a marvellous degree. Besides this 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



36 

India is perhaps the only country where distinct 
racial entities have been tolerated and allowed 
to survive. Thus like the Parsis, the primitive 
peoples have found a safe neighbour and 
protection in Hinduism though wiped out 
in tracts wherever any puissant culture arose. 
Thus the Veddas, the Mundas, the IS'agas, etc., 
who have been crystallised as it were in different 
phases at different epochs in the march from 
prehistoric times survive to the present day. But 
before carrying out any comparison or arriving 
inductively at the exact prehistoric and primitive 
stage in which they stagnated we must remember 
as Gommc points out, 1 " For unless it be admitted 
that civilised people consciously borrow from 
savages and barbaric peoples or constantly revert 
to a savage original type of mental and social 
condition, the effect of such a comparison is 
to take back the custom or belief of the modem 
peasant to a date when a people of savage or 
barbaric culture occupied the country now occupied 
by their descendants, the peasants in question 
and to equate the custom or belief of this 
ancient savage or barbaric culture with the 
custom or belief of modem savage or barbaric 
culture.” 

Thus we can illustrate the development of 
Hindu culture diagrammatically bringing out its 



Vidi or« t* 0 % HtMcrivJ 5c mu*, pp 178. 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 37 

genetic relationship with the other primitive and 
prehistoric cultures as indicated within brackets 




We are not quite sure if prehistory should he 
content with merely giving us 
indUo yrchiiiorj, the pleistocene cultures of a 

frHo-blifcxy. ancient , , , , 

iiwiorj. land and 1! later phases now 

form the subject of Proto- 
history. Wc think it is best to equate Prehistory 
like Holmes with 1 Pre-written history ' and to 
consider the period subsequent to that, up to 
what is known as the historical period, as Proto- 
history. Thus as Greek history begins with 
the Homeric period, in India a definite land- 



mark is set by the periods of the written record, 
i. e ., Vedic literature and culture, whose chrono- 
logy is unfortunately shifting in the page of every 
savant. According to Oldenburg, the Vedic 
Indians lived at the time of the composition of 
the oldest sources of their history the Vedas, at 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



38 

about 1500 and 1000 B C in the Indus and 
the Punjab. 1 This is the furthest limit of those 
who do not believe with Jacobi and Tiiak in 
the higher antiquity of V'edic culture placing 
it between 2500 and 5000 B. C. So prehistory 
in the North-Western India deals with times 
anterior to that, though in Southern India where 
the 'Aryan' colonisation was completed some- 
time in the 5th century B C.. 1 it dragged on for 
a thousand years more. Then again, thanks to 
the Archaiological excavations of recent years, 
the range of accurate Indian history based on 
corroborative evidence has been extended from 
medieval to ancient, Muhammadan to Buddhist 
times. There archeology seems to have cried 
pause and the limes, from the inception of 
Vcdic culture to the rise of the Mauryan, where 
there is always a vast body oi literature to fall 
back upon for corroborative evidence, are to be 
reckoned as the nebulous region of Indian 
Proto-history. As tradition is still rife and is still 
continued in Indian almanacs of a Kali Yuga 
beginning, as stated, in 3102 B.C. marking the 
era of the activities of the epic heroes of the 
Mah&bkurata, of a Saplarsi era used in Kashmir 
beginning in 3076 B.C., 3 or the age of the Tamil 
academical conferences or sangaens beginning 



’ DI.Mxtu.ndf, I'm., p. I. 

• BhunJirkw, (V-itW Lnlum, Pir.t S.ri— . 1013 . p. 7 
■ t'i it* Huff, Indian Chronology. 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



39 



according lo some, as early as 8000 B.C., 1 it is 
possible that the sharp axes of some future Indian 
Evans 01 Petrie may still further extend the 
proto-historic period. It is safer however to 
reckon all as province of Hindu history and proto- 
history which deals essentially with Vedic culture 
and its amalgam with the earlier elements, 
leaving to prehistory the prc-Vcdic and to 
proto-history the prc-Mauryan era, not for- 
getting that here as in post -Columbian America, 



prehistory may continue as survivals, eg,, in the 
hill and jungle tribes of pre-Dravidian types who 
still await a thoroughly scientific study. 

Now Anthropo-Geography points out that India 
has been subject to contact 

Caitant contact nd w i:h most of the cultural cycles 
wimn* .... . 

originating in boreal or equa- 
torial regions being a peninsular extreme of 
Eurasiatic zone or the calling place of African or 
Australasian maritime adventurers. Yet Indian 



history has been not to a small extent handi- 



capped by an insistence on its so-called isolation 
caused by barriers leaving a few passes on the 



North-East and the North-West as the only gates 



of India through which have poured in successive 
waves, conquering bands of adventurers from the 
steppes to hold in easy sway the weaklings of 
the fertile plains. It was naturally argued that in 



• M. Sr'nirj.1 Aiv.«£-I — IV'mil Sladiti (ISIS), p. a* 




40 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



each and every case {an exception, however, 
being made in favour of the civilised Aryans uf 
Wax Miiller) the conquerors were but barbarian 
hordes led in chains by the higher cultur- of the 
conquered in less than no time. A natural 
corollary lo ihis had been co argue the essentially 
pure and indigenous character of Indian civilisa- 
tion on the one hand or to dogmatise on a lace 
historical influence which, as it were, like the 
mango plant of Indian magicians caused her 
culture at once to spring forth and hear delicious 
fruits in Mauryan times. But while Indology 
did not reckon with the possibilities ol inroads by 
the sea in ancient times, Egyptological, Assyrio- 
logical and Anthropological studies have been 
moving too fast. Thus J .1st row ' remarked : 
" There are good reasons lor believing that a 
direct cultural influence came to China at a 
period even earlier than the introduction of 
Buddhism, while ihe evidence, though not vet 
complete, is increasing which indicates that both 
the Chinese and Hindu civilisations lie within the 
sphere of influences emanating from such far older 
cultural centres as the valley of the Euphrates 
and the valley of the Nile.” The remarkable 
similarities of the Belucliistar. and Mohenju-daro 
pottery designs with those from Yang-shao have 
now given us something more than theoretical 



f\« CWllinlio* ef (1916). p 2. 





liwtrocorinutc proto coup-do poing*~Cud<lapuh. 





RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 41 

data to build upon. During the last few years 
Elliot Smith, Perry and a formidable band of 
students of comparative culture are bringing forth 
thesis after thesis showing ‘that the essential 
elements of the ancient civilisation of India, 
Further Asia, the Malay Archipelago, Oceania 
and America were brought in succession to each 
of these places by mariners whose oriental mig- 
rations (on an extensive scale) begun as trading 
intercourse between the Eastern Mediterranean 
and India sometime about 800 B.C. (?) and 
continued for several centuries ; that the highly 
complex and artificial culture which they spread 
abroad was derived mainly from Egypt (not 
earlier than the XXIst dynasty), but also included 
many important accretions and modifications 
from the. Phcenician world around the F.astern 
Mediterranean, from East Africa (and the Scudan), 
Arabia ^nd Babylonia; that in addition to providing 
the leaven which stimulated the development 
of the pre-Aryan civilisation of India, the 
cultural stream to Burma, Indonesia, the Eastern 
littoral of Asia and Oceania was in turn modified 
with many additions from Indonesia. Melanesia 
and Polynesia, as well as from China and Japan 
and continued for many centuries to play upon the 
Pacific liltoialof America where it was responsible 
for planting the germs of the remarkable 
prc-Culumbian civilisation." 

• Pxi-M of the Dn'i.A Am. M«*rfc«iU.r, l'Jlf., ]i. ftW. 

6 




43 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Perry's remarkable book The Children of the 
Sun though it is an encyclopedic study of 
similarities over such a tract, leaves us cold and 
it becomes quite patent that the problem is not 
so simple as outlined by the overzealous band. 
Even in cases where culture-contact between two 
tracts may be a reality there has been a confusion 
of chronology and data handled. India has been 
in contact with the West in Graeco- Buddhist days 
of Gar.dhara as well as at present. India has sent 
her children to the Far-East in prehistoric times 
perhaps as heliolithic adventurers, in mediaeval 
times as carriers of the enlightened Hindu and 
Buddhist cultures and to-day as poor outcast 
labourers of the soil. In each case quite a 
different set of sociological influences have been 
operative and in each case the Indian stamp is 
sure to be recognised. But it would be a travesty 
to lump all these together as results of the same 
archaic culture-drift from Egypt. 

But Evans points out, talking of earlier times, 
" A new and far more broader vista has been 
opened out in recent years, and it is not too much 
to say that a wholly new standpoint has been 
gained from which to survey the early history of 
the human race. The investigations of a brilliant 
band of prehistoric archaeologists with the aid of 
representatives of the sister sciences of geology 
and paleontology, have brought together such 
a mass of striking materials as to place the 




RACES AND CULTURES IS INDIA 43 

evolution of human art and appliances in the last 
Quaternary period on a far higher level than 
had been suspected previously: its successive 
phases, the Aurignacian, the Solutrean and the 
Magdalenian with its Azilian offshoot — the order 
of which may now be regarded as stratigraphi- 
cally established— represent, on the whole, a 
continuous story. Now it is a commonplace of 
Archeology that the culture of the neolithic 
peoples throughout a large part of Central, 
Northern and Western Europe — like the newly 
domesticated species possessed by them— is Eur- 
Asiatic in type. So tco, in Southern Greece and 
the i^Egean world we meet with a form of 
neolithic culture which must be essentially regarded 
as a prolongation of that of Asia Minor. It 
is clear that it is on this neolithic foundation 
that our later civilisation immediately stands. 
But in the constant chain of actions and 
reactions by which the history of mankind is bound 
together — short of the extinction of all concerned, 
an hypothesis in this case excluded — ii is 
equally certain that no great human achievement 
is without its continuous effect. The more 
we realise the substantial amount of the progress 
of the man of the Quaternary age in arts 
and crafts and ideas, the more difficult it is to 
avoid the conclusion that somewhere 'at the 
back oi behind '—it may be by more than one 
route and on more than one continent in Asia 




44 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



as well as Africa — actual links of connection 
may eventually come to light." 1 — The expeditions 
of Morgan and Pumpelly have laid before us 
new links in the East and as we have already 
indicated, the culture zone lias been extended 
still eastwards. So we hold with Dr. Wilke 
that ' there is a great probability that indeed in 
early neolithic times, a strong overflowing cul- 
ture stream spread from south-west Europe to 
the eastern shores of the Mediterranean up to 
India and its eastern currents even spread up to 
the shores of the Pacific Ocean and that this was 
brought about by 'he migrations of peoples.’’ 
Thus in order to understand fully India's 
place in the scheme of prehis- 
iJk.'™"*' toric culture of the old world 
we have got to enquire into 
chronological fixations of other lands. India as 
an intermediary between two areas of cultures with 
which its cultural relations have been established 
can very soon afford us an insight into two 
limits. If India had been in cultural and ethnic 
contact with the western nations, e. g., Egypt, 
when could it possibly happen ? If it did happen 
at all, archaeological vestiges must be forthcom- 
ing. The prehistoric finds of India are nor 



1 Etbm. Ntw A'chtD3lo£lcal ligliu on >!• oripni of (hi drain- 
lion «» Kurefit. <S>.«i»A Antriatim nrpsrl, 1018.) 

■ Wllko ■ Salrii/.SinVihniff*. nrnrhrr lodirt. Oni-f u*d E\’c,v. 

(1011. Ff. IB-inj. 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 45 

inconsiderable though practically the border 
crops alone have been reaped. II these are com- 
paratively studied they do provide us with affinities 
in style, and there only the contact is proved and 
as the date has been fixed lor its western neighbour, 
we get the approximate date when this happened. 
This is tvhat we should attempt. But if for 
instance no affinities or identities or analogies 
could be established between the archeological 
finds of India and of the Western nations, the 
probability of such a contact would have been 
reduced and it would have shrunk into mere 
wild speculation. Then there is the other 
element. It has been held by a consensus o( 
learned opinion that such migrations as of the 
Polynesians, did proceed from India. If so, 
India with its crystallisation of primitive cultures 
at so many stages in its hill and forest tribes would 
very probably afford U3the clue as to what people 
left its shore and at what stage of culture. 
The migrations might have been due to overflow- 
ing of population or pushing from behind by later 
peoples which is more probable. In the former 
case we arrive at a time when a culture from 
the west reached its acme or perhaps was brought 
to a close by a successive wave at a certain 
sociological or cyclical stage. For the chronological 
dating of this cycle Petrie's tentative calculation 
in his brilliant Revolutions in Civilisations might 
give us quite a workable date. Petrie's work 




46 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



dealing with India shows how without an intimate 
touch with any particular tract, the whole outlook 
may bo. mistaken. He takes Asoka and Akbar 
as typical of the highest crests of the Indian 
cultural curve. But both monarchs individually 
super-eminent do not represent the cultural rise of 
the country. It is the Gupta era of about the 5th 
century A. D. which ought to be considered as 
the last great crest of Hindu world-culture which 
drooped with exhaustion by the 12th and 13th 
century A. D. This was the period when 
foreign scholars looked upon India as the foun- 
tain-source of culture and Indian traditions were 
dominating the whole of the Far East. The 
cycle earlier to that was the great age of the 
hater Vedic and Upanishadic thought by the 
10th century B. C. In this manner we want to 
arrive ar historical truth about pre-Vedic times 
which later finds may corroborate or modify 
but would not possibly disprove. In any case 
we would have a definite idea about what things 
to look up to for affinities and the human and 
the historical* significance of these finds would 
then alone be realised. 

Similarly also, India has got beyond its 
boundaries several socio-reli- 
oa?te“«! OCl “' B '' ;K, "" gious standards wherewith to 
measure and find out its great 
culture-complexes. Whichever way the Aryan 
question be decided, the Indo-Aryan stamp of 




RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 47 



Indian society and religion cannot be denied. 
And whenever we have got to seek the original 
foundations of some elements in Vedic culture- 
complex wc can stamp it as Indo- Aryan 
when its counterparts can be warranted a pre- 
Indian existence in other places of 1 Aryandom ' 
Similarly the studies of the Outer Aryan, the Homo 
Alpinus, have become simplified by numerous 
sociological works on the European brachycephals 
Wc have already seen that the South Indian 
elements in Hinduism which possibly got the 
upper hand of naturistic 1 Aryan ism ’ from time 
to time, had its counterpart in the theriomorphic 
or goddess cults so widely distributed in early 
times. But Pater Schmidt lias opened the window 
on the other side with his great linguistic 
and socio-teligious treatment of the Austron-sian 
peoples, e. g., in his " Gnaidlinien einer Verglei- 
chung der Religioner, und My/hohgien der 
austronesischen Volker Specially when one 
remembers the assignment of certain strata 
in the Indian population to the Austric stem, 
these elements of an Indo- Australian culture 
would stand in clear contrast to the other body, 
the Indo-European, while midway wc would 
get such highly complex phenomenon as the 
so-called Dravidran culture. 1 do not know where 
to look for the totcmistic exogamic features 
of Hindu society in the quest for origins and 
primitive types if not in the Proto-Australoid 




4 8 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



tribes in and beyond India. Similar rock-carvings, 
the boomerang, ihe bow, bachelor's dormitories, 
two-class and eight-class systems probably go 
back to early Pi oto- Australoid phases of its 
peoples and society. 

Now it is not very long since Risley 
offered us his study of India 

Sihnkc ilmtl Stilton . 

«ii riii'moio*l'*l oor. from anthropometric data. But 
his book opens with the em- 



phasising of 'ethnic isolation' of India though 



in most of the types he mentions foreign 
names. And his classifications do not carry us 
far. The types given by him are well-known : — 
(r) The Turko-Iranian, (a) the Indo-Aryan, (3) 
the Aryo-Dravidian, (+) the Scytho-Dravidian, 
(5) the Dravidian. (6) the Mongolo-Dra vidian 
and (7) Mongoloid The stumbling block in his 
way was the broad-headed Leptorrhine for which 
he went to the Turks, Scythians, Mongolians, 
etc., but this has been recognised to be possibly 
Alpine thanks to the labours oi Crooke and 



Ramaprasad Chanda. Chanda also emphasised 



the Nitfdda element — the Prc-Dravidian, to which 



Haddon has given a definite place. The great 
Paleihnologist Giufhida Ruggeri, has thrown a 
flood of light on Indian racial problems. He gives 
the following ethnic stratification commencing 
with the more ancient strata 



(1) Negrilos, 

(2) Pre-Dravidians (Australoid- Veddaici), 





Chellcan and Mouttcriao type* — Modr 



RACES AND CULTURES IN INDIA 



49 



<3) Dravidians (having affinity with H 

Indo-Africanus /F.thiopicus), 

(4) Tall dolichocephalic (Mcsopotamic ?) 

elements, 

(5) Dolichocephalic Aryans (H. Indo-Euro- 

peanus dolichomorphus), 

(6) Brachycephalic Leucoderms (H. Indo- 

Kuropeanus brachymorphus).” 1 
It is obvious that all these racial movements 
took place in prehistoric times. The last, that 
of the brachycephalic leucoderms is a migration 
which took place probably in Bronze Age times 
of Western Europe. The copper implements 
of India arc connected, it seems, with the Vedic 
culture on the one hand and with the cult of 
the sacred horn, the axe and the sun and solar 
symbols on the other and these form the link 
perhaps as in Europe with an earlier cycle 
The problem of the Todas is yet a mystery 
but the pottery figurines of the Nilgiris, if they 
are connected with Toda origins betray Armenoid 
featuresand the terracotta figurines mostly riding 
on horseback with prominent noses and full beards 
make us think of Asia Minor. Ir. the Dravid<ans, 
1 am led to think of the same movements of 
peoples that led to the starting of Egyptian and 
Sumerian cultures, having their counterpart in 
India in neolithic times. This combined with 

• ru* C. V. imI . 1 / TViortm#! U «/ UtU r>, Vat. V, pp. JIS Z20 



/ 




PRBHIST0R1C INDIA 



50 

a previous Veddaic neolithic stratum gave rise 
possibly to the Dravidian, or as I think it better 
to call it, the lndo-Erythr<ean culture-comples. 
With the Australoids, we pass on to Mesolithic 
times preceded by the Negroid in upper 
Paleolithic times. An intensive study ol the 
cephalic, nasal and altitudinal indexes by 
Dixon, has revealed a successive strata of proto- 
Negroid, proto-Australoid, Pa lae- Alpine, Alpine and 
Caspian. Mediterranean elements in India. The 
problem is highly complex and any arrangement 
would be but conjectural. For a tentative com. 
parative study we append here the excellent 
chart prepared by Nelson from Wissler’s Man and 
Culture. This chail <|uitc tallies with our own 
ideas and the views of Munn as to the high 
antiquity of Early Iron Age in India being at 
leas: as old here as Early Dynastic Egypt. The 
Neolithic age began in India probably much 
earlier than what is stated by Nelson, being nearer 
14000 B. C.— the date assigned by Boulc to the 
probable beginnings of Neolithic phase in Asia- 
Minor, Crete, the East and Chald*a and Egypt. 




CHAPTER II 

THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND; GEOGRAPHICAL 
AND PALA-OGEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES 

A study of cultures is a study of idea-systems. 

Prehistoric cultures arc the 

Hoaias erxn (too 4 t • » • r 

ga»!c£4a»i ew idea-systems m their nrst stages 
*** of birth and growth. The more 

we proceed, it becomes more difficult to differen- 
tiate the earlier heritage from the later growth. 
With the birth of humanity we could have begun 
with a tabula rasa had there net been a long- 
drawn chain of pre-human evolutionary processes 
of which man himself, is more or less the child. 
We know that Neanderthal man still had 
several ape-traits in his brain lobes and modern 
man still carries the animal along with his higher 
mentality. We recognise an ascending cvolu- 
tion in man from the standpoint of mental and 
intellectual growth. Did this go hand in hand 
with some changes in earth phenomena ? Sir 
Ray Lankester points out that in Miocene times 
there was a remarkable disproportionate increase 
in brain weight amongst all living beings? Was 
it accidental? It is the business of the real 
student of man and life :o study side by side 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 53 

whal we may lerin with McCabe the physical 
and biological evolutions and to point out the 
correlations between the two, if any. 

Thus while the geographical factor is essential 
for the study of modem life in its proper 
setting, geological and astronomical phenomena 
come into our calculation when dealing with the 
processes of growth extending through a long 
lapse of time. The Quaternary times in which 
extinct races of men were evolving have been 
estimated to las: from 100,000 to 1,500,000 
years roughly The precursors of these creatures 
again would lake us to mid-Tertiary or early 
Tertiary times, a question of 3 or more million 
years. There have been vast changes in world 
phenomena during these times. The several 
glacial phases of the earth have been connected 
by Croll and others with astronomical phenomena, 
the changes in the relative positions of the paths 
of the sun and the earth. Modem Astronomy, far 
advanced in the study oi stars, gives us glimpses 
of the movements of our solar system through 
space. It was recently suggested that the 
depression of temperature is perhaps due to the 
solar system, coming in contact with acme 
very cold portions of space. These are so 
important and we know so little of them. Let 
us however come to terra Jirma and gather 
the records of competent earth conditions in 
these times. 




54 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



The study of land and life in the past in India 
is unique from various stand- 
.iS 1 ; u,r “ ia points. As for nearer times the 
correlations between culture and 
climate may be worked out from mute tree- 
records as well as human written records, so 
also the past pulsations of life along with the 
movements of the crust may be noted over 
many a region here. We have here vast land- 
surfaces south of the Vindhyas which have 
been very little subject to subsidence or up- 
heaval ever since the beginning of life on this 
earth. We have also records d! upheavals on 
a large scale and. a rapid rate of evolution in 
Himalayan tracts. And wc have also regions of 
comparatively recent origin — the Indo-Gangetic 
plains. Indian geologists now generally recognise 
with Sir Thomas Holland three main geological 
stratifications, the Aryan, the Dravidian and the 
Purana group. The Aryan includes both the 
Cainozoic and Mesozoic phases which saw the rise 
of mammals and reptiles. The Dravidian more or 
less coincides with Palmozoic system and the 
Purana group of rocks stretches far back through 
Azoic times. The peninsular region retains the 
records of the Permian Ice Age and of that vast 
stretch of continental mass from Africa to Austra- 
lasia of Mesozoic times. The Himalayas while 
containing some of the oldest rock-systems had a 
very active period of it3 life in times more 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 55 

concerned with the beginnings of our evolution — 
the Tertiary. 

“ Man, being a mammal could not appear 
before the Tertiary era because 
t },e secondary mammals were 
very small and primitive." 1 The 
appearance of man went hand in hand with great 
geographical and orographical changes in India 
as all over the globe. Besides the formation of 
great mountain chains, the end of the Tertiary was 
marked by a gradual depression of temperature. 
We know that in Europe great geographical 
changes took place at the close of the Cretaceous 
period. No less remarkable were the changes 
in India. " For it was curing these ages that the 
most important surface-features of India were 
acquired and the present configuration of t'nc 
country was outlined. The vast pile of marine 
sediments that was accumulating on the border 
of the Himalayas and in Tibet underneath the 
waters of the Central Asiatic Tethys, since the 
Permian period, began to be upheaved by a slow 
secular rise of the ocean-bottom. During the 
long intervals of ages from mid- Eocene to the 
end of the Tertiary this upheaval continued, in 
several intermittent phases, each separated by 
long periods of time, till on the site of the Meso- 
zoic sea was reared the greatest and loftiest 



in mdifauiUi. 1321. p- 30. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



5 <> 

chain of ihc mountains of the earth. The last 
sign oi the Tethys after its evacuation of the 
Tibetan area, remained in the form of a few 
straggling has ins... There were three great- phases 
of the upheaval of the Himalayas as we now see 
them and the last was of Pliocene age ' 1 

It is possible that the Himalayas had a 
central nucleus like the Alps of 
JEttST the earliest times and that the 
present configuration of land and 
water was due to movements destined to bring 
about a new chapter in the history of the earth's 
surface and the life on it. How far the correla- 
tions exist we cannot say at present. The climate 
of the globe had gone through some rhythmic 
fluctuations along with the earth -movements. 
There had hcen a great depression of temperature 
in Pre-Cambrian times at the threshold of the 
Palmozoic Age which saw the rise of lower types 
of life. There was another in Permian times 
previous to the rise of the great reptiles of Meso- 
zoic times. The infancy of mankind was passed 
through the rigours of a great depression of 
temperature of the Great Ice Age, as we shall 
see- The age in which the forerunners of man 
were being evolved were much more genial and 
warmer though there was a continuous decline to 
the cold conditions of the Glacial period. It 



w»d!», Qtclcn »/ 1«*«. 1919, PP 203-4 




1’ivi ►. IV 




Rostroconnitc proto coup <le points — CluMepah. 



THR GEOI.OfMCAI. BACKGROUND 



57 



ig in the Eocene period that the lowest type of 
Primates first appear and we find the most ancient 
tailed monkeys in the Oligocene. Miocene and 
Pliocene times arc fraught with immense interest 
to the student of man for the numerous anthropoid 
apes that flourished. Especially so is the case 
with India where the Siwalik fossils present some 
Anthropoids with evolutionary tendencies towards 
man. Thus according to Lull and others, the up- 
lifting of the Himalayas had a direct bearing on 
this emergence of humanity from the Anthropoids 
in Tertiary times.' “ The late Joseph Barrel 
ingeniously suggested that it may have been 
during the uplift of the Himalayas at the end ol 
the Miocene and beginning of the Pliocene that 
primitive man originated. As the land rose, 
the temperature would be lowered, and some 
of the apes which had hitherto lived in the 
warm forest would be trapped to the north of 
the raised area. As comparatively dry plains 
would there take the place of forests, and as 
the apes could no longer migrate southwards, 
those that survived must have become adapted 
for living on the ground, and acquired carnivorous 
instead ol frugivorours habits. By continued 
development of the brain and increase in bodily 
sire, such ground-apes would lend to become 
man.” 

1 Ur. A. Smith Woodward i Tho Anciqni^r of Mun (2Ta luw. Nor fl. 
IM, p. 213). 

8 




5 « 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Man had to struggle in the first stage of his 
Tti* ICO career on this earth not only with 



Oifcll. 



huge mammals k but also with 
extreme rigours of temperature. Huntington has 
shown in his Character of Races how great a part 
was played by this age in shaping the future course 
of human cultures and he even traces to it as a 
direct cause the modern superiority and supre- 
macy of Western Europe. Elsewhere he has also 
tried to prove that mutations and new types of 
animals are due to extremes of temperature and 



new types among men liave to be accounted for 
along with variations of temperature which either 
directly or indirectly produce corresponding 
alterations in bodily form and presumably in 
mental activity. 1 We know that while we have to 
reckon now only with one species of man— in the 
fluctuating climates of Pleistocene times we have 
to deal with several species and probably more 
than one genus. We also know of a mentally 
retrograde species living in coldest times and a 
highly endowed type flourishing in a more genia! 
succeeding epoch. Were the correlations merely 
accidental ? 

A depression in temperature all over the 
world happened in early 
Quaternary times. This meant 
increased moisture, lowering of the permanent 



i E Bnmiogfoc W'rll. t <nur anil 1919, Chaw 

IX «nJ X. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 



5 S 



snow-line and advance of the ice-cap of 
the poiar region In mountains high enough 
there would be increased glacial action 
leaving the inevitable traces of their extension 
in erratics and perched blocks, terminal and 
lateral moraines, lakes and alluvial terraces, 
U-shaped and hanging valleys. Croll tried 
to ascribe this to astronomical causes. The 
cllipticity of the earth’s orbit is subject to 
periodic oscillations between certain limits. 
Sometimes the path is nearly circular, at other 
times it becomes a more flattened ellipse. 
Croll shewed that a high flattening of the 
earth's orbit happened 240,000 years ago — 
with this he associated the Ice Age Ac- 
cording to this hypothesis, however, glacial 
epochs could r.ot exist in both hemispheres 
at the same time. But this is not warranted 
by facts and this theory no longer holds the 
field. 1 This phenomenon is more associated 
with elevation now-a-days. " As the land 
began to rise, the first effect was an 

increased snowfall on the higher summits, 
and increased rainfall on the rising coast 
lands. The rivers had an increasing fail 
towards the sea, and rapidly carved out deep 
narrow valleys which were later developed 
by ice." ' 

1 Vide Holo*. If* M' 0 / tie Art* (CL III). 

• 0. B. T. Brouia. Tie Fvelntian e/ Climate, 1922, p. 47, 




6 o 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



rlifi. 



The Great Icc Age was an universal pheno- 
menon. The whole of Northern 
.. Europe from the British Isles 

to the Ural Mountains and the 
North of America up to New York regions was 
under ice In the Southern Hemisphere, New 
South Wales, Tasmania, New Zealand, South 
America afford also evidences of the lowering of 
the snowline up to three or four thousand feet. 
In the tropics, however, the case is a little different. 
The dryness in temperature would have brought 
on an inter-pluvial period corresponding to the 
glacial period. In the Himalayas and mountains 
of sufficient height such as Mount Kenya in East 
Africa there is no lack of proof of the former exten- 
sion of glaciers. " Grooved and polished rock 
surfaces have been found in the Himalayas now 
at as low a level as 7,500 ft. in Pangi and in a 
higher latitude large boulders are found imbedded 
in the fine silt of the Pot war at an elevation of less 
than 3,000 feet above the sea Besides these, there 
are many cases of large erratic blocks and supposed 
moraines which have been referred by some ob- 
servers to glaciers and by others to river action ” 1 
Thus Prof. H. C. Das Gupta, M.A , F.G.S., in 
hi: paper on the Past Glaciation in India remarks : 
Though the cold-loving Elephas prinngenus 
has not been found in India we can reasonably 



Oldti.m ! C«(ojv tf Mia, p. 11 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 



61 



say that the Pleistocene period in India 
was one of glaciation though in many cases 
the evidences that have been put forward are 
not so strong and very likely the outward 
limit of the glaciers was net so low as is 
believed to be the case by many enthusiasts . 1 



Thus Bruce Foote says, " It does not appear 
hard to understand that a period 

til rfTrrl- *a-l tr«CM. . . 14 • . i 

ot great cold in central and 
northern Asia, was in the south represented by a 



very wet period, a really pluvial epoch which 
was characterised by the formation of the great 
latcritic deposits of the east and west coasts of 
the peninsula. ‘ 

Again Oldham lias pointed out that the 
effect of the cooling down of the earth’s surface 
and a general refrigeration might produce an 
arctic climate in Europe but Lhe Indian peninsula 
would have at best the temperature of tracts 
now in the temperate zone This would alone 
enable us to explain the occurrence of some 
temperate flora and fauna in Paresnath. Mill 
and on some isolated plateaus in Southern India 
and mountains of Ceylon as in the Himalayan 
region and their absence throughout the interven- 
ing plains. Thus the wild goat of the sub- genus 
Hcmitragus found on the Nilgiri and Annamalai 



' Riporf n tht Ji-iircn Auaietlan If CUfiio«t*i/&**n<>, ISSia, 

p. 62 . 

• ilofu on J|?i>, t it., p. IPO 




6a 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



ranges and further south has its counterpart only in 
the temperate regions of the Himalayas. Similar 
is the case with the Rhododendron and numerous 
other plants and several animals found in 
the hills of Ceylon and Southern India and 
identical with Himalayan and Assamese hill 
forms but not known from any other part of 
India this being only accountable by depression 
of temperature. 

We biow that in Europe ' when the sea was 
higher ’ (or the land lower), beaches and terraces 
were formed which remain permanent now high 
upon land ; when the sea was lower, valleys were 
formed, which became flooded as estuaries when 
the sea rose or are found by soundings some way 
out of the shore. 1 In the Records of the 
Geological Survey of India we read a report by 
S. E. Ormiston, Resident Engineer, Bombay I’ort 
Trust, of a submerged forest in Bombay which 
shows the land to have subsided at least 30 feet.* 
This probably occurred in the closing phase of 
pleistocene times. Still later also slighter move- 
ments continued. VVc read of modem raised sea 
beaches in a paper by Theobald * : Note on the 
value of the evidence afforded by raised oyster 
banks in estimating the amount of elevation 
thereby. ' An elevating movement of at least two 

• P.lri« &C«M Soana «/ /T.men Hiifor y, 1010, p, R 

* R.U.S.I. 1012, p. HI, 

■ K .0.6, /, 1872, p. id. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 63 

feet and probably more occurred in 1856.' So 
also the littoral concrete formation on the coast 
of the Persian gulf has afforded evidence of a 
recent elevation o: land. 

Then again, in a preliminary survey of 
certain glaciers in the North-West Himalaya' 
it was observed that the glaciers were more 
extensive before generally.’ “ The point most 
prominently displayed is the evidence of 
general retreat shown by the occurrence in 
nearly all cases of old moraines (sometimes grass 
covered) at lower levels in the valleys." 

Thus Kropotkin had already pointed out, 
“ There is reason to believe that the Pamirs were 
ice-bound and the great extensions of formidable 
glaciers in the Himalayas is fully proved in my 
opinion " 3 1 think, the case as it stands, is sober- 
ly stated by Vredenburg thus: "Indications 
of the glacial period in the mountains of India 
have not been clearly recorded, the question 
having scarcely received any attention. The 
Himalayan glaciers were far more extensive 
during the glacial period than at the present 
day, though they still include some of the larg- 
est glaciers of the globe. According to R. D. 
Oldham's investigations, there arc indications 

■ K>J7, p. IM. 

• Of (i* twclre glacier* c«beio*<! in Kaihair, !«t»ol and Kcmaca 

only Y«wtota» and Homantad glacier* raneni odranca. 

• Riji vrl af flip BriOAh Anociatotn, IfW, p. 775. 




64 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



of ihrec great oscillations of the extension of 
the glaciers coinciding with some of the glacials 
and interglacials of the great Ice Age in 
Europe .” 1 

Blandford also was led to premise glacial 
conditions in Pleistocene India, on Palaeonto- 
logical grounds. He says : — “There is the 
occurrence of certain Himalayan species on the 
mountains of Southern India and Burma and 
even further south but not in the intervening 
area. There is also the predominance of the 
Western or what I have proposed to call 
the Aryan element in the Pleistocene fauna 
of the N'erbudda valley and of Kamul in 
the north of the Carnatic tract. Lastly, tve 
have to account for the apparently recent 
immigration of Indo-Malay types into the 
Himalayas. It is evident all these peculiarities 
of the Indian Fauna may have been due to 

the glacial epoch It was probably during 

this cold period that the ossiferous Nerbudda 
beds and the deposits in the Karnul caves 
were accumulated The tropical damp living 
Dravidian fauna if it inhabited Northern India 
must have been driven out of the country. 
Unless the temperature of India and Burma 
generally underwent a considerable diminution, 
it is not easy to understand how plants 



VicdMbtrs’e Swnmar, */ M4Un Oto/ajf, p. 10S, 




HIE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 65 



' 111 - 



and animals of temperate Himalayan types 
succeeded in reaching the hills of Southern 
India and Ceylon as well as the forests of 
Burma and the Malay Peninsula. When the 
whole country became warmer again after the 
cold epoch had passed away, the oriental 
fauna appear to have poured into the Himalaya 
from eastward. Thus this theory will add 
to the evidence now considerable in favour 
of the glacial epoch having affected the whole 
world." 1 

It is now very interesting also to turn to 
the Records of the Geological 
Survey which arc valuable mines 
of information. So far as Europe is concerned 
it is generally held that ‘ the great ebb and flow 
of temperature was at least four times repeated; 
four times have the glaciers enlarged their bounds, 
and four times have they been driven back in 
their mountain home. The four terraces are 
ruled, as it were, across the last page of terres- 
trial history ; they are datum lines, which enable 
us to divide the Pleistocene or Quaternary epoch 
into seven ages, the first, second, third and fourth 
glacial ages with their three intervening genial 
ages.'* In Central Asia, too, Messrs. Davis, 
Huntington and R. W. Pumpelly established 



1 iho clotrilutfc® <e voKcbrato lniraU la Indio. Damn and Cox- 
loo, Phil. Item. fkMr »t Vol 164, 1801, pp. «S-90. 

’ awvonl 2ad odlitox, p. 2S »=d p. 28. 



9 




66 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



independently positive proofs of at least three 
distinct glacial and interglacial epochs ol the 
Great Ice Age. 1 

" In the Pamirs there is evidence of two periods 
when the glaciers had a greater extent ; in the 
first they extended to a level of 5,000 feet, in 
the second to 7,<xx> feet. The present limit 
of the glaciers lies at about 10,000 feet. The 
first glaciation was remote for the moraines arc 
worn and weathered, but the second was much 
more recent. Oldham records three separate 
periods of glaciation in Kashmir but it is not 
yet possible to discuss the glacial history of the 
Himalayas in detail.” * We know that as early 
as 1867 Dr. Vercherc recorded the presence of 
erratic blocks in the Potwar at less than 2,000 
feet altitude * and Mr, Wynnes dissertations on 
1 Indus-home crystalline fragments ' as he then 
spoke ol boulder deposits scattered about on 
the ranges of Bagh and Choi at heights of 2,500 
to 3,oco feet, as too numerous to be carried by 
humans, have become one of the curiosities of 
Indian geological literature. Mr. Lydekker* 
comes to the conclusion that in Kashmir 6,500 
feet is about the lowest level at which undivided 
evidence of former glacicr-action exists and 

• Ptimptiv too*, p. **XVL 

• C. K. P. Brook* TU ffvititfion a/ CkWw , pp. 77 4 82 (1922). 

■ Jour*. JMM Mitt o/ Bmfai, Vol 11X71, p. US 

• c if SnJojwsJ Stir***, VoJ. XIII. pp. S21.«2, 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 67 

Mr. Wynne in the same volume divides the 
Pleistocene deposits of the Punjab into an upper, 
middle and lower subdivisions characterising 
them as "Northern detrital drift,” "Alluvium 
and river drift " and 41 Post-Tertiary valley or 
lake deposit." It is quite evident that this 
division tries to explain the sequence of three 
different groups of boulder beds in its own way 
of which the first possibly represents the latest and 
the last the earliest Pleistocene epoch while the 
intervening one, a middle period. Theobald’s 
masterly paper' established once for all that 
these bouldcr-bcds were to be ascribed to glacial 
action. His personal observations are of the 
highest value and he tries to establish ‘ that there 
was an extension of an isothermal line compatible 
with the existence of glaciers to so low a level as 
3,000 and 3,000 fee: in the Northern Punjab. 
The Kunhar river is very interesting as it shows 
two glacial stages in the early fluviatile deposit 
period ol Mr. Wynne and thus gives us practically 
all the phases in India. However the question 
is of great intricacy and there w-as a tendency to 
attribute some of the boulder conglomerates 
spread over a large part of Northern India to the 
fluviatile action of a great Siwalik river in Tertiary 
times. La Touche in a paper on the Relics of the 
Great Ice Age in the Plains of Northern India 




68 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



was disposed to find, as Huntington did in Central 
Asia, in the river-terraces the direct impress of the 
glacial age. “ It is possible," he says, “ indeed 
quite- certain, that during the glacial period 
exceptionally immense quantities of debris were 
precipitated into the rivers, more indeed than 
they were able to carry away comfortably, as tbe 
terraces in the upper valleys show. Is it not, 
then, reasonable to suppose that it was then that 
the lower valleys of the same rivers were choked 
with a superabundance of silt and that to this 
same period it is that we must attribute the 
formation of the ‘ older alluvium'; lhat, in fact, 
these deposits arc as truly relics, of the passage 
of the glacial period as the ancient moraines 
among the hills.” 1 

The river-terraces have enabled Europeans 
to divide the Pleistocene or Quaternary epoch 
into several ages. As this is synchronous with 
' Paleolithic ' culture the res- 
•lUvwwmw..,' p eo tive stages were deter- 
mined by the prehistoric archaeologists. We 
all know how rivers cut through their channels 
and their banks arc worn off by rain or stream 
action which are technically known as * erosion ’ 
and ' denudation.’ " There is, however, a limit 
below which the erosion cannot be carried, 
depending upon the size and swiftness o? the 



GcofcSiCii Uzpaina, M»y, 1010, p. !D». 




THE GBOLOUICAL BACKGROUND 69 

river and its relation to the level of the sea. This 
limit is known as the base-level. When the river 
reaches its base-level, it begins to deposit the 
detritus, carried down from the upper reaches, 
on the bed of the lower stages If there 
be a depression of the region containing 
the river-base the accumulation of the ‘detritus 
will greatly be increased. If the land should 
rise, the base-level would be correspondingly 
lowered The process of erosion will begin 
again." 1 

Under European conditions in the Ice Age 
we find that the extension of glaciers had their 
corresponding effect on the rivers into which 
they discharged the water where the icc melted. 
So where the glacier gave birth to a river the 
moraine passed into a terrace so as to give US 
four terraces to four moraines. So when the glacier, 
was advancing in the glacial epoch, the river 
was so heavily overburdened with the detritus of 
the moraine that its power of erosion was at a 
minimum and its energy was spent in building 
up a thick sheet stretching from side to side of 
the river-valley When the glacier commenced 
a retreat ar.d more icc was melted away from it, 
the previously deposited thick sheet began to be 
denuded and the valley was deepened.’ Now in 



1 MDSiiMtu: A 2Wl<in* '■/ AMroton. I Ml. |>. M 

■ 8oUm : aixtntBi’Uri, Killian, pp. 17.2*. 




7 ° 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



peninsular India where we have got to deal less 
with glacier-born rivers and more with increase or 
decrease of rainfall there would be alternate 
denudation and deposition no doubt but it has 
got to be considered how far this would 
correspond to the periods 'of predominant 
snowfall and predominant rainfall that we find 
alternating with glacial and interglacial epochs 
in Europe. 

In Chakradharpur near the confluence of the 
Sinjai and Binjai where Mr. Anderson had picked 
up many stone implements of palaeolithic and 
neolithic types, the steps by the banks of the 
river were quite evident to us. The rivers have 
little water except during the rainy season when 
for sometime after a heavy rainfall it is a mighty 
stream flooding its banks. The banks are of red 
alluvium of about a hundred feet in thickness 
descending by several stages into the river. 
Intervening are several layers just a few feet thick 
each full of rounded pebbles, quartz fragments. 
They appear just like white streaks. When some 
of these are eroded in the rainy season, there 
are runnels Rowing down to the river where the 
implements are found which can be traced to one 
of these banded regions on the bank. These 
we took to be the only marks of the period 
of deposition. In type also they agreed 
with these conditions — the older types being 
always found higher up. Now this is a 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 71 



very important point for us. “The gravel 
beds found in terraces up the side of river 
valleys were deposited at different periods 
by the river to which must be attributed 
often a greater carrying power than it now 
possesses. And it will be evident that the 
higher terraces were formed before the lower, 
and consequently the higher the position of 
the terrace gravel the greater must be the 
antiquity of the implements contained in them, 
supposing no disturbing agencies to have been 
at Work.” 1 Besides the terraces are now' shown 
to be indelible records of climatic conditions. 
For as Ellsworth Huntington says, ' It seems 
probable, as Park has suggested in regard to 
those of Asia, that the oldest terrace may repre- 
sent the last glacial epoch, and that others 
represent the post-stages, or minor epochs of 
glacial retreat. In as much as man is known 
to have existed prior to the last glacial epoch, 
the terraces preserve the record of a series of 
climatic changes which have played a part in 
shaping human destiny. If the oldest terrace 
dates back no more than 30,000 years more or 
less, the last glacial epoch, the youngest can- 
not be more than 2,000 or 3,000 years old at 
most and may be much less.'"' 

1 Onto !o tkt lotiguitMj 1 / tV 3to*» i?*. SriHtk 

mi lP .x 

• K. HantiDR*.oe’« 1 TV Clmatfo fcc'.c, W«\inrtoi>, 1914, p. 36. 




72 PREHISTORIC INDIA 

But still now river-terraces especially bear- 
ing human artifacts in India 
piitaaoM* uii« n- have scarcely been begun to 

uxa, care nnc KHruLir , . , , 

be studied and we have to notice 
on a tentative basis only three 
Pleistocene periods — a lower, a middle and an 
upper. The lower coincides with the older allu- 
vium (Bhangar) of the Ganges.. Narbada and Tapti. 
Here the rich Siwalik fauna arc still continued to 
a certain extent and fossils of two types of 
hippopotami, one allied to a Pliocene Siwalik 
subgenus and the other to the existing African 
specimen and no less than three types of elephants 
the Elephas namadiius, Eiephas tnsignis and 
Eiephas ganesa. the latter two being represented 
in the Siwaliks, are found. In the newer 
alluvium (Khadar), wc can distinguish some fauna 
still racially distinct from modern ones. Slightly 
earlier stand such fauna as show a transition 
from older to later forms as is witnessed in the 
fossiliferous stalagmite caves like-Kamul contain- 
ing most living and five extinct species, e.g., types 
of Viverra, Hystrix, Atherura, Rhinoceros and Sus 
closely allied to modem forms. There are also 
four types which as in earlier times betray African 
affinities. In India the two types of river-beds 
and alluvium are sharply distinguished. The one 
which is the more recent is spoken of as the Newer 
Alluvium and is still in process of formation. 
The other, the Older Alluvium is the most 





riAi» vm 



Early and Lute C»p»ian types from Central India. 




8H» » r -\r' , , STATE. 

TRiCHUS. 



M. 



,/K. ®»dflnJil ■ y S, 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 73 

important for us though it awaits systematic 
study by the prehistoric archaeologists still, for 
there alone genuine pakeoliths would be found if it 
happened to be a human settlement in those 
far remote days. As their geological features 
thus become interesting to us, I give below an 
excerpt from Vredenburg's excellent summary: 
“ The great depth of the Ganges alluvium, as 
revealed by borings, indicates that in its case 
also subsidence must have preceded simultaneously 
with deposition. Except in the neighbourhood 
of the delta, the greater portion of the 
alluvium plain is above the level of the highest 
floods of the Ganges and its tributaries, indicating 
that this area has been upheaved, or that 
the delta region has been depressed within 
relatively recent limes. The presence of a mass 
of ancient alluvium, known as the Madhupur 
jungle north of Dacca in the midst of the delta 
region, further indicates that a certain amount of 
disturbance must have occurred. The existence 
of the ancient alluvial areas enclosed within 
rock basins along the course of some of the 
Peninsular rivers, such as the Narbada, Tapti, 
etc., points to the same conclusion, and it is 
evident that a certain amount of irregular warping 
has affected India in Pleistocene times. In 
consequence of these physical changes, the 
ancient alluvium and the one still in process of 
formation can be readily distinguished from each 
10 




74 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



other. They are known in the vernacular 
as " Bhangar.” In geological age, they corrcs- 
pond with the two main divisions of the 
Quatema y era, the Pleistocene and Recent. 
The Pleistocene age of the Bhangar or. older 
alluvium is clearly shown by the remains of 
numerous extinct animals amongst which may he 
mentioned E Up has antiquus, a characteristic 
species of the Pleistocene of Europe, and 
various extinct species of horse, ox, rhinoceros, 
hippopotamus. Contemporaneous with these 
are the earliest remains of prehistoric man 
in the shape of stone implements' 1 [Summary 
of the Geology of India, pp. 1 09-110'. 

Besides these amongst the Pleistocene 
and Recent deposits may be 

1 . n "*' reckoned among others the high- 
level river terraces of the 
Upper Sutlej and other Himalayan rivers, the 
lacustrine deposits of the Upper Jhelum 
Valley, the Poravander stone of the Kathiawar 
coasts, the tcolian deposits of the Godavari, 
Kistna and Cavery, the loess deposits of 
Potwar-plateau, the cotton-soil or Regur 
of Gujrat and the Deccan and last but not 
least the perplexingly wide distribution of 
high-level laierites which cannot be passed 
over by prehistoric archeology, as some 
laterites have already yielded pakeoliths in 
abundance 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 75 



*LV*-ii«B* nmJ 
rowed 4 Kn*betchrs.' 



Laterite is thus of great importance to 
us as it is found often in 
India especially in the south 
and often yields human implements. It lias 
now been accepted that this is formed by 
action of water dissolving rich ferruginous masses 
and forming reddish concretionary masses con- 
sisting of hydrates of iron, aluminium or man- 
ganese. This has been found often in high levels 
and high level Iaterites are now being held as 
being of great antiquity indicating fluviatile 
or lacustrine deposits of the Pleistocene age 
and sometimes earlier. There is also a low-level 
laterite which is rather recent and in some places 
it is still in process of formation. As implements 
of antique amygdaloid types have been found in 
high-level laterite, their antiquity is unquestioned 
and so also latcritic accretion in places where 
water action is absent now is also fairly indicative 
of the great length of time which must have 
elapsed belore the necessary physical changes 
could have accomplished this. So also raised 
beaches have' been observed all round India 
which are now ascribed to Pleistocene times. 

So also submerged forests which have done 
so much for throwing light on 
late prehistoric times in Britain 
have been discovered in the Ganges delta, 
Pondicherry, and the Eastern Coast of the Island 
of Bombay. 



SBbTCtre&J f&e ati. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Before passing on to other considerations it 
Qc.wmu, nbdiri- ■ wouId be profitable to have some 
4ioo> in inis*. discussion about the possible 

quaternary subdivisions in India. 

It is gratifying to find at last the problem 
attempted to be tackled seriously by an Indian 
geologist Prof. H. C. Dasgupta, M.A., F.G.S. 
[Calcutta University Journal of the Department 
of Science, Vol. V— Indian Prehistory). He has 
marshalled together the few cases where palaeon- 
tological data are available with -human finds. 
First he takes the case of the Burma finds of 
Dr. Noetling. Accepting these as being found in 
situ he discusses the horizon of the fossils found 
in ferruginous conglomerate beds there Ten out 
of the seventeen fossils there being of middle 
Siwalik facies he ascribes it to that zone along with 
Dr. Pilgrim. His discussion of the age of the 
Narbada alluvium is important. First of - all it is 
made clear that the Narbada and Godavari older 
alluvia are of the same age. Now Dr. Oldham 
ascribed it to Pliocene and Medlicott to late 
Pleistocene. Prof H. C. Dasgupta would have 
it in mid-Pleistocene. He bases his chronology 
on the Trinil fossils. Thus be quotes Blancken- 
hom showing that there were possibly three 
pluvial periods, the fust corresponding to the 
Gflnz Ice Age to which is assigned the Pithec- 
anthropus layer. Then it is shown that the 
Narbada beds are younger than the Trinil beds. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 77 

But is the difference in question so great as to 
ascribe between Narbada and Java fossils such a 
margin as between Upper Pliocene and Mid- 
Pleistocene ? 

The case is judged naturally from the criteria 
of the Hippopotamus and Elephant fossils. " The 
Javanese species of Hippopotamus is related 
with Upper Siwalik H. Sivalensis and cannot 
be younger than the oldest Pleistocene while 
the Narbada species of Hippopotamus is younger 
than the oldest Pleistocene as it really shows in 
the mandible a stage of transition between the 
Hexapratadont and Tetraprotodonl type and we 
think that we may ascribe a middle Pleistocene age 
to the Narbada beds. It may be argued that the 
Narbada Hippopotamus and Trinil Hippopotamus 
were contemporary and, as a matter of fact the 
Trinil fauna consist of Slegodon Ganesa var. 
Javanica and Elephas sp. cf. antiquus. We have 
seen however that the Narbada fauna consist 
of a few mammalian species that are living now 
while the Java fauna do not include any such 
mammal. 1 ’ Thus we find Elephas namadieus {cf. 
antiquus ) and Elephas ganesa common to both 
and the latter is contemporary if not earlier to 
the Elephas meridxonalis of Europe. The whole 
argument therefore rests on assuming a straight 
chain of evolution of the Hippopotamus. The 
Hexaprotodont type is very probably more archaic 
than the Tetraprotodont type. But he states as 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



78 

'highly probable’ that the Middle Siwalik 
//. irraviiicus , the Upper Siwalik H. Sivalensu and 
the Narbada //. Namadicus and //. Paltsindkus 
are in one line of descent, in one page and 
bases his argument on it in the next. The 
Narbada beds are younger but only slightly 
younger. 

If the Java finds belong to Gunz, the Narbada 
horizon, \vc think, cannot be later than Gunz- 
Mindel Interglacial. So the Karnul cave would 
fall within times decidedly later than the Narbada 
zone. But the occurrence of no less than five 
extinct species and the gradual diminution of lndo- 
African types as well as the absence of Elephas 
antiguus and Hippopotamus as in the Jumna- 
Ganges older alluvia indicate perhaps slightly later 
times and we would place it in the early part of 
upper Pleistocene. As Prof. Dasgupta’s time-scale 
depends on placing the Java fossil and topmest 
Siwalik in the lowest Pleistocene whereas we 
would be disposed :o find it in uppermost Pliocene 
it becomes merely a difference in nomenclature. 
Similarly Imshelwara cave in Kashmir is slightly 
later than Karnul— it may be sub-recent or last 
phase of Pleistocene. It would be profitable if 
we now, as always for safe guidance, turn to 
the chart given by Boule about European 
Pleistocene synchronism bringing out tentatively 
Indian known data in another column : 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 



79 




.ml mol-. •»“« _ 









PREHISTORIC INDIA 











Purr. IX 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND Si 

We pass on now Co the present climatic and 
topographical features of Asia 

tw o^Rmshk.i a w hoIc and India as a mere 
fnotom 

appendage to it. Its importance 
can well be realised when u*e find that the 
primatologists as well as the anthropologists make 
South Central Asia the zone of dispersal of 
Primate and Man all over the world. We have 
seen the vast changes undergone by Asia in 
Tertiary and Quaternary times. We now know 
that Central Asia is going through a continuous 
process of desiccation. In warm Tertiary times 
with the huge Tethys in the heart of Asia, 
luxuriant tropical vegetation and animal life 
probably flourished in regions where we get but 
hot and cold deserts. The general depression of 
Pleistocene days with the melting of glaciers 
also meant a larger number of more fully 
replenished rivers which were continually drying 
up. Sir Aurel Stein has shown how what arc but 
sand-buried rums now, fostered huge centres of 
culture even in historical limes. In fact the 
routes through the North-west to India were not 
desolate and dreary in the sixth or seventh 
century A. D. A millennium or two earlier 
Central Asia had no very uncomfortable barriers 
to offer in the routes to China or Indo-China, 
India or Mesopotamia. Even Siberia near the 
Yenissci had great centres of population and 
culture in Neolithic and later times which had 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



8a 

considerable affinities with other cultures of the 
Old World. So when we find that India like 
France in the West or China in the East is the 
natural cul-de-sac ol all Eurasiatic land zone we 
realise the greater importance ol this in earlier 
times when land connections between India and 
the rest of Asia were of a better order. Now 
in Asia as a whole in Pleistocene times we would 
have genial temperate conditions prevalent in 
the slightly elevated regions of the Tigris and 
Euphrates and less cold conditions as we 
proceeded eastwards to the plains of the Indus 
and Upper Ganges, Narbada, Godavari, Mekong 
(Indo-China), Sumatra. Borneo and Java and 
Yangtse and Yellow-river valleys. Though rhere 
were greater pluvial periods as the more south 
we proceeded — the interpluvial periods were 
surely dryer and the eastern monsoon lands 
divested of swampy condition would have been 
ideal centres of life. The westernmost portions 
were dryer and first efforts at irrigation and culti- 
vation would have been probably begun there. 
Then again we find in portions of the Mongolian 
desert, places 1,500 miles distant from the sea. 
It is in these desert regions from 500 to 1,500 
miles distant from the sea that steppe conditions 
would have prevailed in colder times. Starting 
from a centre .somewhere there with a radius of 
a.ooo miles distant from the sea we would find 
that the circumference would pass through and 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND S3 

touch the sea south of the Mesopotamian plateau, 
Indus mouth, Indo-China and Yangtse valley 
as we)) as Yenissei mouth in the north. Northern 
Asia and a good part of it lying within the .Arctic 
circle with its forests and tundra sloping to sea- 
level away from the sun had been uninhabitable 
before as now. As the elevation of the Central 
Asiatic regions had been completed in pre-huuian 
times, the regions now called the ' roof of the 
world ' and Eastwards, from a mile to six miles 
high, were less habitable in colder times than 
now. The poor village life that is lound to-day 
where' human life is eked out with milklcss cows, 
few fruits and hardly any grain amidst terrible 
gains and snow storms was far more extensive in 
colder and dryer times. But where we find 
to-day straggling oases in the midst of dry 
deserts extended a vast stretch of steppe grass 
and luscious fruits where the adventurous hunters 
and fishers of the northern tundra or frozen 
desert were slowly being compelled to take to 
pasture and domestication and gradually to 
cultivation. But the shifting conditions of steppe 
life could bring about hardihood, invention and 
mobility but never amenities of settled life. So 
it is in the high plateaus of western Asia or the 
then less inhospitable plains of southern, south- 
eastern and eastern plains that early settled 
life began to nucleate in centres. The present 
temperature belt of between 50° F. and 68° F. in 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



84 

January and nearly 8^ F. in July also roughly 
includes these portions. So what are regions of 
more or less dense population to-dav could 
have supported in the eastward area virile 
cultures in the past while the westward tract 
was more densely populated. In Eurasiatic region 
it may be said that there has been a shifting of 
stable culture-centres eastwards as desiccation 
has proceeded while more vigorous and puissant 
temporary culture-centres have moved northwards 
and westwards as the higher latitudes became 
warmer and temperate. 

India has got a vast area of 1,500,000 'square 
miles. It is a sub-contincnt. While it was less 
isolated a thousand years ago with the rest of 
the Eurasiatic continent, its mountain barriers and 
sea- coast have always tended to stamp every- 
thing with a decidedly Indian regional outlook. 
Though it is one of the monsoon lands along 
with Indo-China, Malay Archipelago and China 
and sharing with them many common features of 
agricultural life, it has a variety and unity of its 
own embracing as it does various degrees of tem- 
perature and life in a semi-isolated sub-continent. 
Cape Comorin, the southernmost point, lies eight 
degrees to the north of the Equator and the 
tropic of Cancer runs across Northern India from 
near the mouth of the Indus right through the 
heart of Bengal, while the Himalayan heights bring 
within easy reach temperate conditions of life. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 85 



It would be seen later on how in India while 
the eneolithic culture region has generally lain in 
the north of the Tropic of Cancer cycle and near 
it, the pleistocene cultures tended to crowd 
towards the south further away from it. Then 
again we get a peninsular region as well as a 
northern region barring the Himalayas which 
dominate the entire geography. Between the 
rocky limits of the Himalayas and the Aravalli to 
Rajmahal hills extends a broad alluvial plain two 
hundred miles in average breadth and two thousand 
miles long. Of this again the further west 
we proceed, the plains get hotter and dryer and 
we are more or less in older alluvial soil. The 
Middle Indus is now one of the hottest places in 
the world and it b no wonder that as the climate 
has grown hotter and hotter since the close of 
pleistocene the movement of peoples would 
have been from the N. W. to the S. E. The 
south and centre of India is again an island with 
steep brinks. Southern India is comparatively 
isolated. Near Palagbat there b lowland access 
from the Carnatic plains to the Malabar coast. 
For two hundred miles south of Madras in the 
Carnatic plain and Palaghat area right up to Mala- 
bar coast the density of population now is about 
400 inhabitants to the square mile. This again 
is a great centre of culture and a rone of human 
progress and increment even in Pleistocene 
times. Here the movement has been more often 




86 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



from the south-east to north and north-west 
than vice-versa. - Ancient Tamil traditions always 
speak of submerged lands in the south and 
cultural migrations northwards in dim days of 
ancient Sangams or academic councils. Northern 
Vedic and epic' traditions however arc definite 
about movements towards eastern plains and 
southern forest ana hilly ranges. Thus the 
Madras area, the Punjab, and Indo-Gangetic 
plains may be considered to be zones of 
increment. The zones of effort are the mountain- 
fastnesses of the Deccan and the Rajputana and 
Gahrwal and Terai tracts. Further up in the 
heights of Himalayas or the central forests would 
be iound a zone of difficulty where survives the 
primitive tribes little affected by the surrounding 
cultures for thousands of years In the zone of 
increment has flourished the historic and prehistoric 
traditional cultures. Thus the R&rn/lya^a and 
the MahUbktrata describe the dominance of 
cultures in the Punjab plains — Indus, Cutch region 
and upper Indo-Gangetic Doab, while the Mg- 
veda is a tale of a Punjab culture being pushed 
eastwards and southwards. The great historical 
cultures were only a little further eastwards 
in Magadba while early British dominance was 
exercised from a still further eastern tract. In 
the south too the Madras region has claimed 
the more ancient cultures and later cultures 
have been in tracts a little to the north. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 87 



It is the zones of effort that have repeatedly 
attracted, fostered and evoked martial activities 
which resulted in their military supremacy 
The Sikh, Rajput and Maratha activities and 
as I may add the rise of the Andhras in still 
earlier times were perhaps due to this physical 
characteristic of the land in which they were 
brought up. While further to the north, north- 
east or centre in the forests ar.d hills we find 
tracts comparatively barren of history and the 
safe haven of the backward peoples. 

It is with the help of Paheogeography that 
wc reconstruct the distribution of land and 
water in past geological epochs. Wc divide 
geologically the stages of earth-history into the 

i>HUogccflr.ptr o i first ’ second and third A S CS an <l 
Mi*. associate them with the older, 

intermediate or newer forms of life. The Primary 

is associated with the Trilobites, the Secondary 

with the Ammonites, and the Tertiary with Num- 

mulices. Prior to these »e get the Pre-Cambrian 

stages in Europe and the Archaean and Purana 

group in India completely devoid of organic 

traces. 

It is difficult to reconstruct even the general 
geographical features of the Primary Epoch. 
The traces of Palaeozoic continents as given bv 
different authors differ widely from each other. 
First of all we distinguish three main land- 
masses in the Northern Hemisphere one near 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Northern Canada called Algonkian, the other 
along Northern Europe called Scandinavian and 
the third about the centre ol Siberia known as 
the continent of Angara. In the Southern hemis- 
phere the existence of a continent is incontestable. 
The ocean basins were more or less disposed 
in parallels and tended to form a continuous 
ring. During the middle Carboniferous, this 
ring was well-formed and thus there was the 
first trace of the Secondary Tethys and the 
Alpine geosynclinal. Permian fauna being the 
same in India, Australia and Southern Africa the 
existence of a continuous land-mass is brought 
forward — the so-called Gondwana continent. 
This continued as far as Southern America 
possibly, for similar fauna have beer, found in 
the Andes. 

In the Secondary Epoch the essential feature 
is the existence of deep seas, one communicating 
with the other along the belt now occupied by 
the Alpine chains. This was the Archaic 
Mediterranean or Tethys and extended from the 
Antilles to New Zealand on the one hand and 
passed through the Mediterranean, ’Persia, India 
and Indian Archipelago on the other. In the 
north the continental masses of the Primary Age 
were enlarged. The Siberian land-mass developed 
into a continent extending north ar.d south called 
the Chino- Siberian continent. The Scandinavian 
and Algonkian continents were probably united 





Hammeritone* from Murpba and Banda nad rmgBtouci from 
Burma and S. E. India wifh utrikinj; American *ilinitie». 




RAMA VARMA REocAmGH lilGTITUTE. 

TRICHUR. COCHIN STATE. 




TH2 GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 89 

But the Southern Continent began to break up 
by transgressions of the sea in Jurassic 
and Middle Cretaceous times. The Jurassic 
sea separated India and Madagascar from 
Africa and divided it into Africo-Bradlian 
and Australo-Indo-Malaysian continents. Later 
on it was further broken up, for Madagascar 
became separated by the sea from Australia 
in Cretaceous times. The communication with 
India subsided in the beginning ol Tertiary. 

During the Tertiary period were formed 
those grand elevations which now distinguish the 
geographical features of the globe and volcanic 
activities had already commenced during the 
Secondary period. During the early part of 
Tertiary this was accentuated and they attained 
their maximum intensity during the Miocene. 
The importance of these movements cannot be 
overestimated for to them arc due the physical 
leatures of to-day. The consequent advance 
ol the sea completely broke up the remains 
of the Gondwana continent which disappeared 
under the Indian ocean. Australia was certainly 
isolated at the beginning ol the Tertiary period 
and India became a part of the Asiatic 
continent. 

There had been great pulsations of climate 
during these epochs. In Pre-Cambrian times 
a great glaciation has been traced in India, China, 
South Australia, South Africa and extreme north 



2 




90 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



of Norway. In India 1 the Blaini formation near 
Simla classed ir. the Purana group of rucks show 
many striated boulders. The Talchir boulder- 
beds as well as some found in Western Rajputana 
are now considered as part of the evidence for 
widespread glacial action throughout Gondwana 
land. In India the glacial strke show that the 
icc-shcet was moving north while in South 
Africa it was moving south, i.e., away from the 
present equator. Brooks remarks that ' we find 
in the geological history of the earth two main 
types of climate alternated. Following on periods 
of great crustal movement, and the formation of 
large land-areas, the general climate was cool, 
with a marked zonal distribution of temperature 
culminating during at least four periods in the 
development of great sheets of inland ice ( e.g 
early Proterozoic, Pre. Cambrian, Permian and 
Quaternary). It is in such a period though 
fortunately, not at its worst, that we are living at 
present. During quiescent periods, on the other 
hand, when these continents largely disappeared 
beneath the sea, climate became mild and 
equable and approached uniformity over a great 
part of the world.'* These arc ’ geologic rhythms.' 
“ Igneous action, deposition of sediments, marine, 
transgression and recession are all rhythmic 



• H. C. Dnn GupiL.— ji’utuufiCn i« 

(“«“> 19!e-PobH.li«d 1922.) 

* Biooki, TIM j* of Ctiai’i, p. 




THE GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 



9 



phenomena and the factor common to each one, 
whether as cause or effect, is earth-movement.”* 
Who knows if there he not correlations of these 
with rhythmic groups of life-forms and of psychic 
growth ? 8 De Morgan, with the vision of a 
French master rightly points out : 1 'Geology 
Zoology, Botany, Climatology, Anthropology and 
Ethnography arc the bases of Prehistory which, 
like all science based on observation, runs along- 
side that wall of shadows behind which the origins 
of living creatures and things lie hidden.’ 

' Eolmn. r*» oj |.V« Kmrt\ p. 178. 

• Cf. Webw r. I'-t-il u« rhgduic iim l, yrn/ri, 7 

(Unit BerT'a pr-'w to PnAiitvne Nm). 

• frcWitorr Ofn-. 1025, p. 3. 




CHAPTER [II 



THE PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS— -THE HUMAN 
ANCESTRY— THE CRADLELAND— THE SlWALIK 
PRIMATES— FOSSIL MEN OUTSIDE INDIA 

The most unsatisfactory and yet rone the 
Jess inevitable part of palaeontological studies is 
to arrive at a chronology of the succession of life- 
forms which arc mote or less definite and precise. 
It all depends on the age allowed la earth. Some 
would be satisfied with 20 or 25 millions while 
others would require 1,000 million years. Phy- 
sicists like Tait once conceded with great difficulty 
only 10 million years. Since the discovery of 
radium there is a superabundance of time allowed 
to geologists. When we remember that Pre- 
Cambrian time was at least as long if not far 
longer than what has elapsed since then, Kelvin 
would have stared and gasped at the following 
estimate in 1919 by Dr. H. H. Hayden, F.R.S. : 

“ The Trilobites appeared first between 550 and 
700 million years ago, the first 
fish between 300 and 400 million 
years ago, and the birdsabout 1 50 million years ago. 
The first unmistakable mammals appeared at 
about the same time as the birds, or possibly 




THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 93 



earlier, but the Mammalia as a class reached 
their maximum development in the Tertiary epoch 
and especially in the Miocene and Pliocene 
periods, say. between five and ten million years 
ago. The remains nf large mammals are ex- 
tremely abundant in the Siwalik rocks of the 
Himalayas and the Punjab. The last stage, 
so lar achieved in the history of mammalian 
development was ushered in by the appearance 
of man. " 

A more sober estimate reckons the beginning of 
Tertiary times at 3 million 
years. It is rather unfortunate 
that the estimates should be 
so conflicting and divergent. The same is the 
case with the other problems of human evolution. 
There also the accurate determination of different 
elements demands, as Boulc says " fresh disco- 
veries of fossils and indeed of many fossils.' ' 
Before entering into a short resumd of our 
knowledge of the actual fossils it would be inter- 
esting to note the views about the way the 
physical and mental differentiation leading to the 
ushering of modern man was brought about. 
This involves an enquiry into the problems of 
human ancestry, single or plural origins and the 
question of the centre or centres of appearance 
and of the diffusion of the earliest stocks of 
mankind. The question may be said to be in a 
sense in the same stage ol profound mystery as 




94 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



when ihe Vedic seers sang for more light on 
the place and mode of creation of early man. 
(R. V. 10. t.) 

So before passing on to the actual fossil 
primate remains in India as 
Tb> tunao Mentor. * n own from Pilgrim we suuima- 
rise mainly from Boule (Ch xi) 
the general conclusions as to the problems of 
evolution of mankind. 1 The view, generally 
accepted by Osborn, Gregory and others, places 
man in close relationship with the Anthropoids, 
both together forming a common branch, which 
had long been distinct front the neighbouring 
branch of the tailed monkeys. Darwin and Haeckel 
regarded the human group as forming an auto- 
nomous branch', early detached from the mother 
branch of the Catarrhinians or Dog'-faced monkeys 
Carl Vogt, Ameghino and Sera prefer to attach 
it to the older branch of the Platyrrbinians or 
Plat -nosed trion keys'. Cope again would place 
it still lower, at the level of the most anc'ielU 
of the primates, the Lemurs. The differences 
between these are fundamental,’ (See Boule, 
Fosiil Men, p. 452.) The causes assigned for 
the change are various. Prof. CarVeth Reade 
thinks that an abandonment of fmgivoro'us habits 
and taking to the life of a hunter brought about 
fundamental changes in Oligocenc times. Dr. 
Smith Woodward thinks that the change was 
brought about in late Tertiary times after the 




THE PALjEONTOLOGICAI. BASIS 95 

Gibbons had separated Irom the anthropoid stern, 
and ascribes it to an overgrown brain thus: " it 
is possible that the earliest men were very varied, 
some inheriting one set of traits and tendencies 
from the lower animals, others another set. 
Some might thus progress directly towards the 
existing form of man, while others might revert 
in different ways to a condition which prevented 
survival in the struggle /or life. Hence, although 
the facts arc still very scanty, it is evident that 
the further human remains arc traced back in 
geological time, the more marks they retain of 
an ape-like ancestry They suggest a gradual 
approach to a primitive forest-animal with an 
overgrown brain, which was destined to begin 
a fundamentally new departure in organic 
evolution." 

Boulc thinks that the anthropoid form leading 
up to man very early became separated from the 
neighbouring forms leading up to modern anthro- 
poid apes. He quotes with approval Carl Vogt 
who held that it would be necessary to merge into 
one, the anchropoid characters of three anthro- 
poid apes and even of several other monkeys to 
obtain the combination from which man could 
have descended. Thus Boulc would insert the 
human branch upon the branch of the dog-laced 
Catarrhinians, at a lower level than the starting 
point of the Anthropoid branch. He thinks that 
it would be wiser, without going as far as the 




96 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Lemurs, to descend still lower, even to the 
common stem of the monkeys. The ancestral 
forms of man, he thinks, possessed from the 
Catarrhinian stage and perhaps even from the 
Platyrrhinian stage certain features of organiza- 
tion different from those of neighbouring types ; 
and the progressive development of these forms 
must have attained to a distinct anthropoid stage, 
the actual torerunner of the prehuman and human 
stages. He dismisses along with all others the 
conception of Ameghino that human branch only 
represents an exceptional development of certain 
elements of the Platyrrhinian branch which has 
been confined to South America since Eocene 
or Oligocene times {Fossil Men, pp. 454-5). 

But there are many who do .not accept 'the 
origin of Man from the Anthro- 
pc *' P° id a P es *** ^ monkeys.’ 
Their views have been lucidly 
brought out in Prof. Wood Jones’s Lecture on 
the Origin of Man. ft has been seriously 
questioned whether 1 the origin of the human 
race is to be sought at the base and not the apex 
of the Primate series and that in a very remote 
past ancestral Man became a more or less 
distinct creature which might be termed zoologi- 
cally a 1 ground-ape.’ " Man retains so many 
traces o! mammalian simplicity, his body is so 
compounded of the most primitive mammalian 
features, that it is difficult to picture him as 




THE PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 97 

anything more than an extremely primitive mammal 
committed to a line of evolution which consisted 
almost entirely ill the general and overwhelming 
development of che brain. So many of the primi- 
tive features which astonish us in Man arc not 
possessed by the Anthropoid apes that it is 
dilllcult to believe that Man could have arisen from 
any type at all similar to chose living to-day j 
and so for the Old World monkeys, they arc so 
definitely specialised in their own direction that 
they oan in no wise be regarded as the ancestral 
forms of Homo.” Thus Prof. Elliot Smith 1 
‘ is inclined to look upon the Orang, the Chim- 
panzee and the Gorilla nut as ancestral forms of 
Man, but as the more unenterprising members 
of Man's family, who were not able to maintain 
the high level of cerebral development of the 
fccble-bodied human, but saved themselves from 
extinction by the acquisition of great strength 
and a certain degree of specialisation of 
structure. The feebler man was able to 
pvercome his enemies and maintain himself 
in the struggle for existence by his nimbleness 
of wit and superior adaptability to varying 
circumstances.’ 

Thus there is almost an ethical outlook in the 
conception that ‘ Man is no new-begot ohild of 
the ape, bred for existence upon brutish lines 

' flnJtrt AmmhMmii 1912, p. MO. 

13 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



98 

but regarding himself as an extremely ancient 
type, distinguished chiefly by the qualities of 
his mind and looking upon the existing Primates 
as the failures of his line, as his misguided and 
brutish collaterals rather than his ancestors,’ 
But this view is also, according to some, open to 
serious objections. Mr. G. S. Miller (jr.) 1 of 
the United States National Museum has summa- 
rized the views in a recent article. He brings 
out in an excellent contrast the salient features 
of the two hypotheses (1) Simian and {2) Tarsian. 
According to the first : the evidence of embryo- 
logy and comparative anatomy shows that the 
Hominid<e have been derived from ancestors 
which were in fact heavy-jawed, stout-limbed, 
tailless and semi-erect anthropoid catarrhir.m. In 
support of this anthropoid ancestry reliance is 
placed chiefly on the many features of general 
and special resemblance between men and great 
apes in skull, dentition, skeleton integument, 
brain, reproductive organs, viscera, muscles, 
larynx, parotid and other glands, fundus oculi, 
diaphragm, auditory ossicles, etc, not to 
mention blood precipitation tests, psychologic 
reaction, etc. According to the upholders of the 
Tarsian hypothesis, the evidence of embryology 
and comparative anatomy shows that the members 
of ancestral stock were small animals without 

‘ ( <r«rv:,, Jo* r*>i ,f PiyMal iMropvicyy, Vol. Ill, !J>. 343-M. 




THE PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 99 

anthropoid catarrhine specializations. This is 
brought out by the following peculiarities : — 

{a) In the base of the skull and on the 3idc 
of the braincase the bones show the primitive 
interrelationships found in lemurs but lost in 
monkeys and all but one of the great apes. 

(/>) Nasal bones are more primitive than in 
monkeys and apes. 

(r) Primitive characters, lost or modified in 
the monkeys and apes, arc found in the back 
wall of the orbit, the mctopic suture, the jugal, 
the internal pterygoid plate and the teeth. Mr. 
Miller shows that the facts cited in favour of a 
pre-Simian origin from a Tarsius-like primate are 
capable of other interpretations. 

(d) The pectoralis minor muscle retains its 
primitive attachment to the coracoid; this attach- 
ment has been modified in monkeys and apes. 

( e ) The great arteries which arise from the 
arch of the aorta arc of the same number and 
kind and are arranged in the same order in man 
and Omilhorhynchus. In monkeys and anthro- 
poid apes this arrangement is departed front. 

(/) The human foot is unique in nature; no 
other animal has a foot with digits and muscles 
arranged on the same plan. Man's big toe has 
become dominant, his little toe is becoming a 
rudiment. In all monkeys and apes the toes are 
arranged as the fingers and the third toe like the 
third finger is longest 




IOO 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



(£■) The premaxilla does not exist as a com- 
plete bony element at any stage in the develop- 
ment of the. skull, while in monkeys and apes it 
is a distinct and complete bone until after birth. 

(A) The human peculiarities of the foot and 
premaxilla originate in the embryo without passing 
through a 3 tagc in which the structure resembles 
the conditions found in other primates ; this is 
also true of the peroneus tertius, a muscle 
peculiar to the human leg and foot. Very great 
antiquity of the human stock is thus indicated. 1 

These studies enable us to rivet our attention 
on many minute features which otherwise would 
have escaped attention. They arc of importance 
to us as mapping out certain lines wherein the 
fossil men ought to differ from modern men 
theoretically. As a matter of fact we refresh 
our memory from Duckworth that in a compara- 
tive Study with the skulls of the Simiidm the 
human skull is more highly specialized in 6 items 
and more primitive in 6 other items. It has 
departed from the generalized type in such 
features as: 1 (i) Inflection of the basis cranii, 
{2) forward position of the foramen magnum and 
occipital condyles, (3) diminished dimensions 
of the maxilb. (4) early and complete fusion of 
the premaxilla and maxilla, (5) high ascending 
mandibular ramus and coronoid process with a 

* DioWrorth i U^Uligy o.d i*ttovp*Ufg (woeail «*>Ua»), 




THE HA I..*:ONTO LOGICAL BASIS 



o 



deep sigmoid notch behind it and (6) prominence 
of chin. In the following features the human 
skull is more generalized than those of the Simi- 
id* (l) Lack of bony ridges, (2) large nasal 
bones. (3) wide spheno-maxillary fissure, (4) 
articulation of parietal and sphenoid bones at the 
pterion, (5) articulation of parietal and ethmoidal 
bones in the orbit, and (6) uniformity in the sire 
of teeth This is needed as guidepost to the 
characteristics of fossil men found or to be found 
This also 1 while definitely establishing that the 
existing anthropoid apes did not figure in the 
ancestral history of mar. docs not exclude less 
specialized precursors from that distinguished 
position. 1 

Mr. Miller himself modifies the Simian hypo- 
thesis, his contention being that ‘ the distinctively 
human line branched off from the generalized 
primate stock at a point near that at which the 
line leading to the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee 
originated and at a time when the great toe 
had not lost its simply divergent characters 
and that the inception of this line was 
not due to a profound and relatively abrupt 
alteration of habits and functions forced on 



the animals by environmental change, but <0 
a process the evidence of which may be seen 



everywhere among mammals living under 



uniform condition, e.g., the process known as 
"looal adaptive radiation." 




102 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



Side by side with these new issues raised 
mainly by the new discoveries 
nJSSSr and studies of fossil remains 



during the last two decades, 
the question ol the simple or multiple origin, and 
generic unity or diversity of man have been brought 
to a head. The Polygcnists holding firm the 
distinctions between fossil groups of man perceive 
that the chasm separating groups related to each 
other is so great that it is no longer possible to 
attribute all humanity to the same genus, but it 
must have originated independently at least from 
two different branches. 1 This theory has been 
enunciated in different forms notably by Kiaatsch 
in Germany and Sergi in Italy. According to 
Kiaatsch, Neanderthal Man auu Gorilla would have 
had an origin distincl from that of Aurignacian 
man and Orang derived from two great Eastern 
and Western streams of pre-men from the same 
anthropogenic centre which the author finds 
in the centre of Asia. Sergi’s classification is 
more elaborate. He admits diverse unconnected 
genera, two for the group of human fossils 
and four for living men. All these genera 
have developed independently from different 
anthropogenic centres, ol which one or two 
was in the Old World and one in the New. 
These sis branches wouid be — the Neanderthaloid 
(Pulatoanthrofus) which according to the author is 



Kul* Iiunlto, UtMni it infr^elojio, pp. lii-Z iu d m-7i 




THE PAt./ttONTOLOGICAI. BASIS 103 

already extinct ; the two branches of modern form 
(the fossil and the living), of African origin 
( Notanthrofus ), the branch which includes all the 
pygmies, the Asiatic branch (Heoanthrofus), the 
branch of American fossils (A rchaanth roof in) 
and finally the branch of modern form that has 
given the varieties of the living in America 
(. Hesperanthropus ) Sergi distinguishes amongst 
human fossils of Europe a pithecoid type 
with archaic characters represented by the 
genus Palaanthropus (which comprehends Homo 
ntandertkatensis) and anthropomorphic type 
with more elevated characters and fundamentally 
identical with modern man which comprises the type 
oi Galley Hill, Grennele Piltdown, etc. These two 
types on account of their simultaneous appearance 
and diversity of morphological characters have 
just enabled Sergi to consider them as two separate 
parallel branches of independent evolution In 
each of the aforesaid types Sergi distinguishes 
two forms quite separate and independent, one 
brachimorp'nic and the other dolichomorphic. In 
the Eastern hemisphere he has two profoundly 
divergent branches, the Heoanthropus and Notan- 
tkropus and to America he assigns two other — 
the extinct Pampean type of Araeghino, Archa- 
anthropus and If r.zpera ntkropus represented by 
the old fossils and living men. Whatever be the 
ultimate value of these classifications the somatic 
differences between the races of mankind have 




104 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



been so much emphasised that Giuffrida Ruggeri 
has found out a new via media , spoken of with 
approval by Boule, by making ‘actual man — a 
collective species ’ and dividing it into smaller 
specie! or subspecies. All living men are classed 
collectively as Homo sapiens and so far as fossil 
men are concerned they have been placed in 
another systematic species belonging to genus 
Homo and fouud only in prehistoric times. Another 
parallel line to Hominidx has been admitted 
also as representing at its apex the ape-man of 
Java — Pithecanthropus erectus. But as Boule 
remarks " At an early stage the human group, 
must have divided into several branches which 
must have borne branchlets, and these :n tum 
twigs. In terms of the polygenist theory, it might 
be said that several of these branchlets or twigs 
have survived up to the present period ; according 
to monogenist theory, it is claimed that the 
mass of Homo sapiens with its various races, 
forms but one single branchlet. Yet even a few 
years ago we did not know and it was palaeonto- 
logy that taught us, that side by side with these 
branches which are still vigorous and full of 
sap, the human branch formerly gave rise to 
branchlets which are now withered and of which 
we are just beginning to discover the fossilized 
blooms in the depths of the geological 
layers.”' 



> Benia. AW! Sin (Biktus’s trinaliiira, 1913. p. *50). 




Pi. vn XII 

f(ilt li 




A neolithic (?) rock-carving near (ibatsile strikingly similar 
to Australian carving*. 



THR PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 



lo 5 



If polygenism be accepted, it is not possible 
to deny perhaps that humanity 
iae ettdieUnd ^ay |, ave evo | ve d a t different 

times in different places under almost identical 
circumstances and then the old controversy 
about the cradle of humanity would lose much 
of its savour ; but still Dr. Wright’s theological 
zeal gives us late in 1913 a book on 77/* 
Origin and the Antiquity of Man which is 
pledged to prove the orthodox canon that man 
appeared suddenly probably by the intervention 
of God in Central Asia not more than fifteen 
thousand years ago. How and where man was 
evolved was surmised long ago by Lord 
Avebury with his cliaracieristic insight and 
lucidity: "Without expiessing any opinion as 
to the mental condition of our ancestors in the 
Miocene period, it seems to me evident that the 
argument derived from the absence of human 
remains, whatever may be its value, is as applic- 
able to Pliocene as to Miocene times.. ..Judging 
from the analogy of other species I am disposed 
to think that in the Miocene period man was 
probably represented by anthropoid apes, more 
nearly resembling us than do any of the 
existing quadrumana. We need not, however, 
expect necessarily to find the proofs in Europe j 
our nearest relations in the animal kingdom 
are confined to hot almost to tropical climates ; 
and though vre know that during parts of the 



‘4 




toG PREHISTORIC INDIA 

Miocene period the climate of Europe was 
warmer than at present, so that monkeys lived 
north of their present limits, still it is in the 
warmer regions of the earth that we may reason, 
ably find the earliest traces of the human race." 1 
Whatever may be said in respect of other 
centres as starting points of -humanity, one has 
ultimately to give up the cases of South England 
or Southern France or even Egypt or che blessed 
land between the two rivers and formulate with 
Dr. Matthew a South Central Asiatic Home for 
the earliest man. Sir H. H. Johnston went further 
south and stated as follows : u From such meagre 
facts as have already been collected by scientific 
investigation we are led to form the opinion that 
the human genus was evolved from an ape- like 
ancestor somewhere in Asia, most probably in 
India, but quite possibly in Syria on the one hand, 
or in the Malay Peninsula or Java on the other. 
So far, the nearest approach to a missing link 
between the family of the anthropoid apes and the 
family of perfected man has been found in the island 
of Java ( Pithecanthropus erectus), but there arc 
slight indications pointing to Burma or the southern 
part of the Indian Continent having been the birth- 
place of humanity" (The Opening-up of Africa , 
p. 10). But here, as everywhere, it is better to leave 
the last word with the greatest exponent of human 
fossils, Boule. ‘ Along with the Central massif of 



• rnUntmit tim», 13 U. p. 426. 




THE PA 1 ./EONTO LOGICAL DASIS 107 



Asia, subtropical regions, Africa, South America, 
the Antarctic Continent and Australia have been 
suggested as centres of appearance. The main 
fact which palaeontology seems to have firmly 
established is that, starting from very primitive 
stages, the Lemurian and Platyrrhinian stages, the 
evolution of that group which potentially comprised 
the human branch did not take place either 
in North America, whence all primates seem to 
have disappeared since upper Eocene, nor in South 
America, where the Platyrrhinian branch has 
dominated exclusively. It is therefore in the 
Ancient Continent that we must seek our " cradle." 
Mankind is a product of the Old World. The 
part played by Asia and especially by Southern 
Asia, must have hern considerable TI10 Siwalik 
fossils show that in that region, about the Upper 
Miocene and Lower Pliocene periods, there was a 
most extraordinary flux of lile, especially among 
the higher Primates. In view of the number and 
diversity of form of the great fossil apes, the 
impression arises that at this time, Asia was 
the laboratory where the differentiation of rhe 
ancestors of Mankind must have been in process 
of elaboration .’ 1 

According lo Gregory by a study of the 
dental svstem we can confirm the 

Pauli prime**. 

through the Lemuroid and primitive Insectivora 



scheme of ancestry of Man traced 



Fouil • (KUhii'i rrmitawm, IUi4, pp. 4S7-S). 




lo8 PREHISTORIC INDIA 

backwards to the Mesozoic Placentalia and 
Permian (onus of which the Cynodont fossils give 
us some idea 

The ancestors of the Primates were small 
creatures inhabiting the boreal Americano- 
European continents of a generalised type difficult 
to be distinguished from related orders especially 
the Insectivores. We meet with them in the 
Eocene beds of North America together with old 
and extinct forms of other groups of mammals. 
In their cranial structure, their dentition and in 
the general configuration of the brain they closely 
resemble the Tarsius of the Malayan Peninsula. 
To this fossil the name of Anap/pmorpkus has 
been given. Dr. Cope, the celebrated palaeonto- 
logist, regarded it as the common ancestor of the 
Apes and Man. During the Mid-Eocene the 
multiplication of this order is manifest and there 
is the advent of a new order — the Lemurs. The 
Anaptomorphus with a round skull and of a 
frugivorous regime is represented by many 
genera and other forms with long skulls and 
of omnivorous habits become frequent in the 
United States pointing to the evolution of the 
present types. 

From’ authenticated discoveries we know 
that Lemurs were found in the Mid- Eocene of 
France and Switzerland and they became more 
numerous in the Upper Eocene and Lower Oligo- 
cer.e beds of Europe. 




THE PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS log 



Al Fayum we meet them next and find that 
they show a stage undoubtedly ancestral to the 
Catarrhinians and the Anthropoids — a stage of 
synthesis which is undoubtedly of great antiquity 
and which demonstrates that the different branches 
separated at a very early date. In a detailed 
memoir Schlosscr has described three species — 
all of them arc of small height and of very archaic 
forms Two of these resemble the Lemurs found 
in the Eocene beds of the United States and the 
Cebians of South America. These represent the 
stage of evolution from which the Lower Primates 
branched off. To the third species he gave the 
suggestive name of Prophvpitkeeus fJaeckelii. 
We possess only two jaws of tliis species and 
according to Schlosscr they closely resemble 
the jaw of the Pliapithecus as found at 
Sansan and other localities. Hut we must here 
remark that the view of Schlosscr rests on 
an uncertain basis for the fossil examples are 
not complete. 

Very very late, after a period of differentiation 
all the stages of which have not yet been 
discovered, we find the Anthropoids in the Old 
World dwindled into the existing orders. The 
Mesopitkecus resembles the Macaque and the 
Senmopithecus. The Oreopi/hecus resembles 
the Cynomorpks and the Antkropomorphs ; the 
Dryopilhecus, the Palatoptihecus and the Siva- 
pithecus unite in them characters which ore 




IO 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



dispersed at the present day amongst the various 
species ol Anthropoids. 

In the fossil-bearing beds of the Siwaliks 
we gel one of the most intcrcst- 

Tb* si-.ii* fr«ii set i es 0 ( mammals, some 

pr.inHtt'f. ** 

like Elephants represented by a 

fewer species and types to-day, some like the 
Hippopotamus and Giraffe no longer prevalent in 
India, some like the Sivatherium as big as a 
Rhinoceros, with four horns and a proboscis 
forming a synthetic type and a link between the 
Ruminants and Pachyderms. A time may come 
when the Siwaliks would be the classic field of 
the study of correlations of the vast orographic 
and climatic changes side by side with changes 
in height, body-weight, brain-weight as well as the 
growing complexity of structures in very different 
branches of animal life in the same zone through 
the vast stretch of time in the Age of Mammals. 
Specially interesting for us would be to study 
here the environmental factors and other deter- 
minants at. work that were producing tendencies 
amongst some primates to evolve towards the 
human type. 

The Dryopitkecus and Siiapiifieeus demand 
our special attention for this. As for other 
Primates, wc get in the upper Siwaliks Simia. 
Seywtopithecus and Papio, the Anthropopithecus, 
Semnopithecus, CercGfilkecui and Macacus in the 
middle Siwaliks. Thus we find all the existing 




THE PAl-iBONTOLOCICAL BASIS 111 

types were in evidence and the Gorilla and the 
Orang also were 10 be found in the Himalayan 
regions in Pliocene and Late Miocene times. It is 
in Mid-Miocene that we get the generalised types, 
Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus and Palaopithecus, the 
last of which may be considered as a direct pro- 
genitor or a collateral relation of the Orangs. 
Pahnop'.thecus also is an undifferentiated type. 
Lydekker associated it with the Chimpanzees but 
it seems to have some affinities with Dryopithecus 
and may be closely related to the Gorillas. 

Dryopithecus seems to be an ancestral and 
synthetic form In some branchlets we get 
characteristics found in modern Chimpanzees and 
Gorillas and in some more primitive traits. Cartel 
and Gaudry, Gregory and Sera are disposed to 
find in some traits, especially of dentition, affinities 
with the human family. 

The Sivapithecus has been claimed by Pilgrim 
as belonging to the human family. The animal 
is known chiefly by the right mandibular ramus, 
three molars, two pre-molars and a part of the 
canine from Chinji and a few other fragments 
including the left half of another mandibular 
symphysis with the canine and the roots of the two 
incisors and of the first premolar. Dr. Pilgrim 1 
attempts a reconstruction of the mandible which 

1 Hiwkiik PriinoU* thoif botrirv* c« th* quest <4> of tbe 
of Mut ill till A utbropc^i** (ftortrfe •§ t\» fl u lop f— I 
fxdia, 1016). 




1 13 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



has been disputed by Gregory anil others. He 
speaks ol it as a saimatian ancestor of man : 
"The remarkable characters possessed by the 
mandible of Sivapilltecus ally it in many respects 
rather to man than to any of the Simiidae.” 
After pointing out that a short symphysis is a 
primitive characteristic as seen in the Propliopithc- 
cus of Fayum and that its extreme shortening is 
a special development ir. man he points out that 
this characteristic combined with other peculiari- 
ties leads him to place it on the line of man’s 
ascent. The outward curvature of the premolar 
region, in his opinion, involves the co-existence 
of the breadth of jaw and a degree of separation 
of the mandibular rami which is essentially 
peculiar to man. The inner cusp of p.m. 3 as in 
the Cebid*, the large canines with primitive 
features, the hinder heel of the lower canine as in 
the Gibbons, etc., forces him to the conclusion that 
Eoanthropus represents a marginal species which 
did not lead to man, being one of Nature’s 
experiments at producing the higher human type 
and that Sivapithecus diverging long before the 
appearance of that genus represents a marginal 
species of the human ancestor." 

Mr W. K. Gregory, a firm believer in anthropoid 
ancestry holds that the ancestral Chimpanzce- 
Gorilla-man stock appears to be represented 
by the Upper Miocene genera Sivapithecus 
and Dryopithecus and that the former is more 





libutfiln rocli-carvinge. 



THE PAL/EONTOI.OGICAL BASIS I 13 

closely allied or directly ancestral to the Hominida- 
thc latter to the Chimpanzee and Gorilla and 
that many of the differences that separate 
man from the anthropoids of the Siva pit hecus 
type are retrogressive changes following a pro- 
found change in food-habits. He further thinks 
that there is no good evidence for believing that 
the separation of the Hommidx from the 
Simiidae took place any earlier than the Miocene 
and probably the Upper Miocene and that the 
change in structure during this vast interval 
(two or more million years) is much greater 
in the Hominidz than in the conservative 
anthropoids.' 

Prof. H. C. Das Gupta in his paper on Indian 
Prehistory * gives an excellent summary of this 
controversy. He mentions several human traits 
which appealed to him on a personal examination 
of the fragments in the Indian Museum. He 
remarks that ' the pcntacuspid arrangement of 
the molars and the bicuspid premolar give the 
fragments certainly a human aspect. The lower 
premolar has got the human aspect in its bicuspid 
nature, but it differs from that of modern man 
in being double-rooted. In the right ramus there 
is one character which gives i: a human aspect. 

■ BOlti* a* Amtrita* Urnttm cf Sttunl Kw.r,, Vol. XXXV, 
1916, p. 3U. 

' PdprM /rum CatlufM t7niwr«ry Jour**! •>/ If- /hpt’trr*/ «/ 
Vol V. IfftS, pp. 5-7. 



5 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



"4 

The lower premolars are all two-rooted and ihe 
second molar shows that of its two roots, the 
anterior one is vertical while the posterior one is 
sloping backwards.' He quotes from Owen 
( Odor. logra phy, p .153): “ Both upper and lower 
premolars are bicuspid. These teeth in both 
jaws arc apparently implanted each by a single, 
long, subcomprcsscd, conical fang ; but that of 
the upper premolars is shown by the bifurcated 
pulp-cavity to be essentially two fangs, connate 
and which, in some instances, arc separate in 
their extremities." Prof. Das Gupta thus thinks 
that 1 Siva pit hecus combines in its mandible the 
human and Simian aspects in a very remarkable 
way, and would even look upon it as belonging to 
the Ilomosiniiidar 

But we should remember the warning of Boule. 
Palaeontology has nor yet thrown any clear light 
on the separation of the human from the Simian 
stem and the synthetic characters which are 
being attributed to some ancient forms, c.g., 
Homunculus of Ameghino and the Anaptomorphus 
of Sc'nlosser are not undisputed. The significance 
which the latter applied to the Prop liopit hecus 
is hypothetical ; the Sivapitkecus again is an 
Anthropoid with tendencies towards human 
morphology. 

To appreciate exactly the nature of a fossil 
animal and to assign to it its true place in the 
order of things it is necessary to possess a 




THE PALAEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 



5 



complete skull and extremities. Fragments arc of 
little value lor in closely allied groups deductions 
drawn from a single bone cannot but lead to 
error. We should always remember that the 
gulf which separates man from the apes is not 
very broad, r.ot even as broad as the gulf separa- 
ting the higher apes from the lower ones. The 
line of demarcation cannot be drawn with any 
certainty and hence wc should hesitate before 
passing an opinion from the characters of a 
single bone or tooth as the advance of science 
has proved that the law of correlation advanced 
by Cuvier is not everywhere correct and at its 
best gives us only a probable result. 

In the days of the upper Siwaliks there were 
. living in Trinil in lava, the 

l*p- of 6 1 

-«n known from I'llhccamh/optate, once consi- 
dered by some to he the direct 
ancestors of man. In 1890 Eugene Dubois found 
at Trinil, a village near the town of Ngawi, on the 
banks of the river Solo or Bengawan, at the foot of 
a volcano, a skull-cap, a left femur and two teeth. 
The skull-cap has large dimensions and its 
flattening in a vertical direction gives it a simian 
aspect. The capacity of the whole skull was 
probably 850 cubic centimetres and thus interme- 
diate between that ol the highest apes (not 
exceeding 600 c.c.) and lowest man (minimum 
1000 c.c.). There is a continuous supraorbital 
ridge as in Gibbons and Chimpanzees. There 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



I 1 6 

is no sagittal crests. Tliere is a continuous 
protuberance uniting the occipital, temporal and 
supramastoid crests. In the brain the centres of 
sensation were well developed but the association 
areas were much less developed than in man. 
The frontal region is reduced in size. The 
inferior frontal convolutions, double that of a 
Chimpanzee or Orsng and half that of an European, 
show its intermediate position. The teeth with 
very divergent roots with crowns more developed 
in a transverse than in a longitudinal direction 
differ from those of Man or apes though akin 
to those of the Orang or Dryopithccus. The 
left femur is almost straight showing its 
possessor to have the faculty of standing and 
walking upright. Dubois argued that there was 
a direct descent of Man from Pithecanthropus. 
Many scientists believe it to be an extinct side- 
branch of the human stem. Boule thinks it to 
be probably a large species cither of the genus 
Gibbon or a closely allied genus with more or 
less 1 human ’ characters due to convergence and 
it docs not belong to the ancestral line of Man. 

We would see later on that when the 
Hippopotamus and the straight-tusked elephant 
ranged in Southern India, human hands were 
shaping coup-dc-poings on the Narbada and 
chipping flakes by the Godavari, but we do not 
know of the form and buiid of the men for lack 
of human fossil remains. In Europe, however. 




THE PAL&OKTOLOGICAI. BASIS 



"7 



in times contemporary or slightly later men very 
much different from modem types have come 
to our purview by the discoveries at Heidelberg 
in Germany and Piltdown in England. It is at 
Maucr, a village South- F.ast of Heidelberg, on 
a tributary of the Neckar that a lower jaw was 
found, and described in igoS by Dr. Otto 
Schoetensack. It is massive in size, the ascending 
rami are very broad and the chin is completely 
absent and thus possesses simian features. The 
dentition is altogether human, the canines are 
small and the molars arc in dimensions and 
characters like that of Man. Boole regards this 
as earlier chan the Piltdown and thinks ' that 
between the lower jaw «f Homo iieidclbergeiuis 
and that of Homo Hemderthalensis his successor 
in Western Europe, there arc certain simila- 
rities favoring the hypothesis of a fairly dose 
relationship.’ Much more fascinating is the 
discovery of fragments from the field near 
Piltdown in Sussex, described in detail by Mr. 
Charles Dawson and Dr. Woodward Smith in 
1912. The remains comprise of a large portion 
of the brain box and part of a lower jaw with the 
first and second true molars in position. The 
thickness of the bones is remarkable but in spite 
ol this and some other primitive traits, the skull 
possesses in a high degree the structure of a 
human skull. As reconstructed by Dr. Smith 
Woodward the cephalic index is 78 and it has a 




8 



f-KEHlSToKIC INDIA 



slightly flattened vault. Its brain-capacity would 
be 1300 c.c comparable to the Andamanese, 
Australians or Bushmen. Its nasal bones are very 
human though rather of Melanesian or African 
type, The lower jaw is very simian in type 

The ascending ramus is broad, the mandibu- 
lar notch is not very deep and the condyle must 
have been short. The mylo-hyoid groove is 
situated below the dental groove. The lower 
symphyseal region is not thickened and rounded 
as in Man The canine is much larger in dimen- 
sion, more conical and with more compressed 
crown than in a human canine. The first and 
second true molars, relatively long and narrow 
with five well-developed cusps arc simian 
and resemble those of a Chimpanzee. Boulc 
finds that the skull belongs to a modern 
tnan Homo davsoni and the jaw to an ape 
Troglodytes davsoni In 1915 similar skull frag- 
ments with a similar molar was found at some 
distance. English anthropologists and Osborn 
would consider the fragments to belong to the 
same individual or type — a primitive type of 
human genus — the dawn-man — Eoanthropus. 

The cold-loving mammoth has not been 
known in India and we do not know of the 
possibility of a Neanderthal type of man from 
India associated in Eutope with Elephas pri- 
migtnius. The human sacrum from Honan in 
China with its slight curvature and a 




T1IP. PAL/*0NTOr.0GICAL BASIS I 19 

gradual decrease in size of the sacral vertebrae 
from the first to the last showing some Neander- 
thaloid traits in some Pleistocene men of China 
has made us look forward to human remains of 
this type or allied ones with more interest from 
India. The Galilee skull has brought the 
Neanderthal type from an Asiatic habitat. The 
Broken Hill Skull from Rhodesia in East Africa 
has widened our knowledge of the range of this 
type in space and time. According to Boule 
‘ Neanderthal Man, Rhodesian Man and the 
modern Australian race present a common stock 
of primitive characters. In spite of differences 
which distinguish them, it may be admitted that 
the three forms have a common origin ; they 
must have spread and lived for a long period 
over vast extents of territory .' 1 The Wadjak 
skulls from Java make us familiar with ‘a proto. 
Australian whose origin appears to be East 
Asiatic.' The antiquity of the proto- Australian 
in Australia goes back to Pleistocene from the 
evidence of Talgai skull remains. Thus far 
Paleontology. Ethnology has £omc across the 
most primitive elements in Indian population as 
’Proto-Negroid’ and ‘ Proto-Australoid ’ as it 
terms them. We also know of an Indo-Malayasicn 
type of fauna replacing gradually an Jndo-African 
type in Pleistocene times in India. Man, was 



JYct.1 Utn (£r$liis T, lion ) 111211, p. 41*. 




120 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



not possibly in those days an exception to the 
general laws regulating the distribution of lower 
animals. So the human remains in India from 
Narbada to Karnul times might be expected to 
shed light on the tale of origin and dispersal of 
modern man on the African and Australian regions. 

For the present wc learn to recognise 
Neanderthal trails from the human remains found 
at Neanderthal (Prussia) in 1856, Gibraltar in 
1864, La Naulctlein 1866, Spy (Belgium) in 1886, 
Krapina (Croatia) in 1899 and more recently at 
La Chapcllc-aux-Saints ; Lc Moustier and La 
Ferrassic in France. Its diagnosis is summarised 
thus in Boule “ Body of short stature, but very 
massive. Head very large with facial region 
much developed in comparison with cerebral 
region Cerebral index medium. Skull much 
Fattened ; orbital arches enormous, forming a 
continuous ridge, forehead very receding ; occiput 
protuberant and compressed in a vertical direc- 
tion. Face long and projecting, with fiat and 
receding molar bones, upper jaws lacking canine 
fossa: and forming a kind of muzzle. Orbits 
very large and round. Nose prominent and very 
large. Sub-nasal space extensive. Lower jaw 
strong and chinless, with large ascending rami, 
and truncated in the region of the angle. Denti- 
tion massive, structure of back molars retaining 



• ffoVI. p. 237, 





GhaUiln rock curving 




RAMA VARNA iIEGEAaG!l IIIGTITUTE. 

TRICHUR. COCHIN STATE. 





THE PALEONTOLOGICAL BASIS 



ai 



certain primitive characters. Vertebral column 
and limb bones showing numerous simian 
characters and indicating a less perfect bipedal 
or upright carnage than in modern Man. Legs 
very short. Brain capacity averaging about 1450 
cubic centimetres. Brain formation presenting 
numerous primitive or simian characters, especially 
in the relatively great reduction of the frontal 
lobes and the general pattern of the convolutions." 
It is thus an archaic and extinct species and in 
the Mousterian period in Europe it existed side 
by side with the direct ancestors of modem Mar.. 

Upper Paleolithic times have left for us 
abundant traces of human existence in India and 
possibly no human remains are known to date, 
for the Bayana skull cannot be assigned to such 
a great antiquity. If the Singar.pore caves 
delineate Pleistocene art we have there the figure 
of a man with fully modem features dancing with 
arms akimbo. Mirzapur caves also from which 
paintings are known have yielded implements 
of a late Paleolithic and Mesolithic type in 
abundance. As in Europe, the existing races were 
probably represented by their forerunners already 
in upper Pabeolithic tiroes. But we have to 
await fossils here before coming to any definite 
conclusions. 

In Europe we are familiar with three succes- 
sive types which were formerly grouped together 
as Cro-Magnons. But now we know of the 
16 




123 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



distinctly Negroid Grimaldi race, the Cro-Magnon 
race and the Chanceladc race succeeding each 
other. We have to study the Grimaldi Negroids 
and the antiquity of the Proto-Negroid type in 
India, Africa and Europe in connection with the 
Adichannallur skulls later on. So also the Chan- 
celade race more or less representing an ancestral 
form of types still surviving, as some think, 
amongst the Eskimos, may be studied more 
appositely with any similar type of fossil or living 
men that may be found in India. But the 
Cro-Magnons though much more akin to modem 
men have certain characteristics which require 
careful study. Though there are several varieties, 
the Cro-Magnon type is still best studied from 
the skull of the old man. With the casts of 
main types of prehistoric man before me I feel 
the group to be incomplete if this be taken away. 
1 observe here the modernness of the longheaded, 
high-vaulted skull. The prominent forehead and 
the absence almost of any prominent superciliary 
ridges marks it out in contrast with the Neander- 
thal as having ‘ an intellectual development of 
the most advanced kind.' The jaw is also a good 
finale in our studies with Piltdown, Heidelberg 
and Neanderthal jaws. We observe the !o$3 in 
massiveness and gain in contour and shape from 
a more parallel to a more horse-shoe type and 
also the gradual growth of a fine chin. The fine 
nose is no less remarkable. But what marks out 




THE PAL.'EONTOLOGICAL BASIS 1 23 

the Cro-Magnon is its disliarmonic broad and 
flat face in contrast with its narrow and long 
head. The cheek-bones are strong and promi- 
nent and so also the zygomatic arches and 
rectangular orbits are highly developed. The 
long bones point to a gain in height over ail 
previous types. The tibia, unlike that of Nean- 
derthal is flattened platycnmic. 

Boule points out the ’likelihood of the connec- 
tions of the Men of Reindeer Age with other 
lands specially mentioning the extraordinary 
resemblances between the art ot these men in 
Europe and of some modem South Africans. 
He also points out the possible links between the 
neolithic art of Susa through that of Southern 
Spain with France. Obcrmaicr was surprised 
at the great resemblance that exists between 
the cave-art of Spain and India specially in 
Singanpur. Some Proto- Australoid peoples in 
India, e.g , Sar.tals, Hos, etc., with disliarmonic 
broad and flat faces along with narrow and long 
heads practise a remarkable primitive art on the 
walls of their huts recalling the great cave ait of 
Europe. If the Men of Reindeer Age in Europe 
cannot be considered as isolated, the case would 
thus he probably the same with the Indian races 
of upper Paleolithic times. 




CHAPTER IV 



THE EARLIEST ARTIFACTS OF PRBCHELLBAN 
INDIA (PROBABLY MORE THAN A LAC OP 
YEARS OLD) 

Bergson has beautifully remarked that 1 if 
we could rid ourselves of all pride, if to define 
our species, we kept strictly to what the historic 
and prehistoric periods show us to be the con- 
stant characteristic of man and of intelligence, we 
should say perhaps not Homo sapiens but Homo 
faber (not man the intelligent but man the 
manufacturer). In short, intelligence consi- 
dered in what seems to be its original feature, is 
the faculty of manufacturing artificial objects, 
especially tools to make tools and of indefinitely 
varying the manufacture ’ 1 

We arc on a safe ground with the Burma find 
_ _ , , as we have not to do with 

doubtful Eolithic workmanship 
but unorganised instruments definitely shaped 
and used by men. But it is now very amusing 
indeed to turn over old records where facts were 
given the go-by simply because the notions of 
the day rebelled against a very high antiquity 
of man. We would here meet with specific. 



CrwtfM Jlttfeffon, p. 144 




ARTIFACTS OF PR EC HELL KAN INDIA (25 

instances in which the evidence of paleontology 
and the opinion of such a very eminent authority 
as Falconer in that department was being 
called into question. The three cases that we 
have got to deal with are so interesting that we 
cannot miss the controversies, the more so as 
they would bring out the problems of earliest 
Pleistocene humanity in India. Let us take up 
the cases one by one. Turning over the pages 
of the Records of (he Geological Survey 1 we 
find Dr. Noetiing of Tasmania in the course of 
his duties in India noticing the occurrence of 
chipped flints in the Upper Miocene of Burma. 
He describes it as follows : — “ While engaged 
in mapping out a part of the Yenangyoung oil 
fields my attention was particularly directed to 
the collecting ol vertebrate remains. One of 
the most conspicuous beds palarontologically as 
well as petrographically is a ferruginous conglo- 
merate upwards of ten feet in thickness. This 
bed may be distinguished a long distance off as 
a dull red band running in a continuous line 
across ravines and hills. Besides numerous 
other vertebrate remains such as, Rhinoceros 
porimer.se, etc., one of the commonest specic3 is 
Hippolherium antelofium of which numerous 
isolated teeth can be found. Three types of 
implements may be distinguished : (a) irregularly 



• VoL XXVII, pp 101.2. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



126 

shaped flat flakes, ( 5 ) more or less triangularly 
shaped flakes, and (e) a rectangular flake." 
Dr. Keith telling us how 1 as in all cases where 
chipped flints of an colithic type have been dis- 
covered the humanity of these implements has 
been called in question/ mentions these flints as 
showing distinct traces of having been worked 
by man though found in a conglomerate deposit 
which contained the remains of animals belong- 
ing to the earliest part of the Pliocene period. 
Geological and stratigraphical proofs about the 
high antiquity of the Burma flint have also been 
discussed by the finder. His statement is as 
follows: 1 — "Three distinct groups can be distin- 
guished in the Yenangyoung tertiaries, namely, 
in descending order : — 

(1) Group A . — Consisting of a series of blue 
clays. Thickness not less than i.ooo ft. 

(2) Group 8 — Consisting of brown and red 
sandstone and light brown clays consisting of 
numerous crystals of Selenite and countless 
numbers of Batissa Craufordi terminating in a 
bed of ferruginous conglomerate with remains 
of terrestrial animals, e.g., Hippotherium ante- 
lopium, and Rhinoceros perimense ; chipped flints 
locally not r?re. Measured thickness 1,105 ft. 

(3) Group C . — Consisting chiefly of light 
coloured yellow sandstones Thickness not less 
than 4,620 ft. 

• fitc-4' is of *4 OsMt«at Sw U*v. Vol. XXXVtI. p. ICfl. 




ARTIFACTS OF PRBCHELLEAN INDIA 137 



Group C must be upper Miocene." The 
finder concludes thus “ Bui whatsoever ihcir 
particular age may be it is cerlain considerable 
amount of lime must have elapsed since the 
deposit of a scries of strata of more than 4,620 ft. 
thickness. Moreover the writer draws our 
attention to the fact that ' the shape of this 
specimen reminds us very much of the chipped 
flint described in Vol. I of the Records and 
discovered in the Pleistocene (?) of the Nerbudda 
river, the artificial origin of which nobody 
seems lo have doubted. 

The second undoubted vestige of very 

old culture in India was un- 

?h# Qoiivwi fl»i» 1 1 r .111 /i 

earthed from the banks of the 
Godavari more than fifty years ago by Mr. 
Wynne in the upper Godavari associated with 
some extinct mammalia. In the Quarterly 
Journal of the Geological Society, London, 1 the 
eminent Palaeontologist, Dr. Falconer, proved the 
deposit to be Pliocene .and stated, " In designa- 
ting the formation as Pliocene which 1 have 
during many years, I have been guided by the 
Indications of the mammalian fauna, as inter- 
mediate between the Miocene of the Irrawaddi, 
Perim Island and the Siwalik hills and that of the 
existing period.” We must call back to mind the 
acute phase the question of the antiquity of man 
was then passing through, in Europe. Though in 



1 XXI. p. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



128 

1833 the human cranium now known as the Engis 
Skull had been discovered by Dr Schmerling 1 it 
was not till 1863 chat even the open mind of Sir 
Charles Lyell, convinced ol the great antiquity 
of man, published his classical work* and full 
five years were yet to come when Aurignacian 
culture and the Cro-Magnon men were to be 
discovered* So in October, 1866, Mr. Blandford 
expressed his doubts in the Proceedings of ihe 
Asiatic Society of Bengal, thus* " I was first very 
sceptical as to the genuineness of this flake, but 
a recent examination and comparison of it with 
some of the Jubbulpore specimens have strongly 
inclined me to believe that it is really of human 
manufacture." Dr. Oldham oi the Geological 
Survey who has doubted the age of the im- 
plement just marking with a query the word 
" Pliocene " thus describes it in his paper in the 
Record of the Geological Survey of India : * 
"The flake was discovered just below the 
village of Moongee near Pyton. The river cliff 
here has a height oi about 50 ft. It was found 
about 23 ft.- above the base of the cliff. It is 
formed from a compact, light-coloured agate 



1 ftttut'.h** lt*» Ut QuautiM £«9Vtt«rMi dm In (uma 

it Ufnninai IKW- 

• Ti. GuUfital Baiimai of tf « «' Man, ISSf 

• na* Kollli— Ttw avl]*ir» "/ Man, pp S3 nnd tt. 




I'l.vri XV 
'<;h i) 




Ghatala rock-car vine*. 



ARTIFACTS OK PRECHELLEAN INDIA 129 



chip, which near the surface has become blacken- 
ed and in two parts the original smooth ferruginous 
surface of the agate moss remains. The flake 
is rudely triangular in seciion, one side being' 
flat while between the two edges, although not 
centrally, it rises on the other side into a ridge. 
The whole is slightly curved, and at an end the 
sharp edges are curved so as to form a slight 
reflexion of the whole flake, giving the end very 
much the form of the curved end of a curving 
knife for game. The other end of the flake has 
a lateral extension which may have served as a 
means of attachment to a handle. The sharp 
cutting edges are much blunted and hacked, 
obviously by use. The total length of the flake 
is 2J inches; the breadth which is tolerably 
constant for its entire length is inch. ' 

Before coming to a general consideration 
of the age of these, we have got to enter 
into the details of the Narbada fina. "The 
celt," 1 we read, " is formed of Vindhyan 
quartzite such as might be procured at any 
point along the northern edge of the valley ; 
it is of pointed oval shape, 5' 3!" of very symme- 
trical outline. Mr. Hackett dug it out himself 
from where he found it lying flat and two-thirds 
buried, in a steep face of the stiff, reddish, 
mottled, unstratified clay about 6 ft. above 

■ K o/ lU GiUo&al Sun.v o] Mia. 1873, p. 

«7 




■ 3 ° 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



law- water level and about 3 ft. below the upper 
surface of the clay, upon which there rested about 
20 ft. of the gravel with bones. From the edge 
of the cliff of gravel there is a steep slope passing 
up through the ground to the plains at 90 to 
100 ft. above the level of the Narbada. The 
locality is on the left bank of Narbada near the 
village of Bhutra, 8 miles due north of Godanvara.” 
In the address to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 
in December, 1 865/ Mr. Oldham 
referred to the Godavari locality 
thus : " Many of the members of the Society are 
perhaps not aware that spreading over a large 
area in the country drained by the upper waters 
of the Godavari and its affluents, there is a widely 
spread deposit of clays and gravels containing 
remains of large mammalia which are probably of 
the same kind as those which occur in the similar 
gravels and clays 0: the Nerbudda valley and of 
which the Society possesses many specimens. 1 ' 
Further in September, 1867, when several chipped 
stones were being exhibited, Mr. H. F. Blandford 
reverting to this interesting find of Mr. Wynne 
said 5 “ I am much disposed to believe that we hav- 
evidence in India of the existence of man at a 
much earlier period than Europe. We have 
here evidence of the co-existcncc of man with 
the animals the bones of which occur in Godavari 



' Iht Anatir Svifiv *1 Bwjal. IS6J, p Sl>7. 

• Hid, !B07, pp. 




ARTIFACTS OF PRECHBLLEAN INDIA 131 

gravels and which are identical with those 
found in the Narbada gravels. The fauna thus 
indicated differ much more widely from the 
existing Indian fauna than the pleistocene 
animals of Europe do from those now existing 
in that country." Thus we find that though 
doubts have from time to time been raised as to 
the authenticity of Dr. Noetling’s find iit situ 
and thus as to the vestiges oi Tertiary man in 
India nothing can be said against the very high 
antiquity of this Godavari find. Its case is 
quite similar to the Narbada find, whose asso- 
ciation also with the same type of fauna leaves 
little doubt as to its age. 

Besides these, the passing away oi several 
types of animals for ever from India forms part 
of a general movement and change for which a 
great lapse of time must be allowed. 

Mr. Blandford observed': "The change which 
has taken place in the Indian fauna since the 
period of the Nerbudda gravels consists in a sub- 
stitution of animate with Malay affinities for 
animals with European or African affinities. The 
great bovine of the Nerbudda gravels, an animal, 
the remains of which are peculiarly abundant was 
a true Taurine, so closely allied to the Bos primi - 
genius of Europe that the differences are scarcely 
more than sufficient to constitute geographical 



P.-M.d.Mf., AMOtia S.ttrfy.f 8*u,v*l, 1W«, p. JtT. 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



132 

races. But as it is well-known, the only indige- 
nous race of wild bovincs (exclusive of the Buffalo) 
in the Indian peninsula, the Gaur is a flat- 
homed Taurine, widely different in structure from 
the true round-horned Taurines. A more com- 
plete case of the substitution ol one animal by 
another with distinct affinities can scarcely be 
imagined. Then again the species Hexaprcto- 
dort and Tctraprotcdoni hippopotami of the 
Ncrbudda have become extinct.' 1 Dr. Falconer, 
as has hern mentioned before invariably spoke 
of these fauna as Pliocene as being a develop- 
ment of the Siwalik fauna in many respects, and 
intermediate between them and our times. Though 
his opinion in questions relating to the determi- 
nation of vertebrate fossils specially of India, is 
unassailable, his word " Pliocene ” has been the 
cause of much contention. Some would allow 
even 400,000 years or more when these bits were 
manufactured. But a few thousand years are 
of little account in the earliest paleolithic age 
where we have got to do more with geological 
time of hundred thousand years than any lesser 
period. But the fact is important since much 
depends upon the lease of time granted for the 
first appearance of man and we have seen 
the systematic efforts in Europe have settled 
beyond doubt the question of the possibility 
of such human handicraft existing at such an 
early age. 




ARTIFACTS OF PRECHELLRAN INDIA 133 



Coming now to the archaeological shape oi 
these, we have to begin with 

'!*• •!•]« o! fitrva _ . 0 

nod. RaMrocnrinoM the remarks 01 rrol. [ 4 - G. 
Aod BdUXii r n - . ... , 

Das Gupta who had the good 

fortune to examine the Burma finds afresh in 
1933. He has pronounced the opinion definitely, 
as we have seen, “ that the Burma Mammalian 
fossils Occurring in the neighbourhood of Yenang- 
young show a characteristic middle Siwalik facies 
which is supposed to be the representative of the 
Pontian stage of Europe.” Mr. Das Gupta thinks 
that the chert pieces were “found in situ ” and he 
ascribes also an artificial origin to the worn 
femur of Hippopotamus innovations in which ac- 
cording to Dr. Noetling “ facets arc exhibited on 
the anterior and posterior side of both extremities 
in such a way that they run parallel to the shaft.” 
Mr. Das Gupta dismisses all others except the 
“ rectangular flake" figured by Prof. T. Rupert 
Jones in Natural Science ( 1 894, p. 345). He 
has given a fresh drawing of this implement and 
kindly allowed me to use it. He calls it a rostro- 
carinate type. " The simplest form of a rostro- 
carinate," he goes on, " exhibits ( 1 ) an anterior, 
(2} a posterior, (3) a dorsal, (4) a ventral and (5) 
two lateral surfaces with a keel on the dorsal as- 
pect. The implement from Yenangyoung is a 
little more complex than the simplest pattern and 
in it these can be very easily distinguished in a 
ventral and a dorsal as pec L with a keel on each 




134 PREHISTORIC INDIA 

side, the keel on the neutral aspect being not so 
perfect as that on the dorsal side. The right 
lateral surface shows two small faces one lying 
over another at the anterior end. On the ventral 
side there is a small triangular area in the middle 
which may be described as the ventral surface. 
The section is of the rhotuboidai type. Thus it 
is clear we are here dealing not only with a 
human artifact, but with an implement which if not 
pre- Palaeolithic, is representative of the earliest 
Palarolithic type.” 1 To us the form of the Burma 
dint is of singular interest, for the Godavari chip is 
of similar shape, a fact noticed by the finder also. 
So here is the prototype of the Godavari flake 
which is very complicated in shape, as we would 
find. In my study of stones in the Indian museum, 
I have been stmek with one fact — the comparative 
absence of flakes in the earlier Paleolithic 
finds and the exceptionally big and heavy 
forms of Coup-de-poings. The Khaisuti Pakeolith 
or rather Pre-Palsolith that I picked up is heavier 
and more massive and cruder than the ordinary 
run of Indian Chcllco- Achcuilean types and may 
form thus the prototype of the big rectangular 
sharp-edged “ Madras type ” or ''Guillotine ” sub- 
type as Bruce Foote calls them. Outhe other hand 
the flake-type of slenderer specimens figures along 
with the so-called finds of Eoliths specially of 

1 fUpcint frons C. U. Jonrail cf DapirtriMit of 8oc4*;«, Yot Y. 
1923, pp. 14 J&. 




ARTIFACTS OF PRECHELLEAN INDIA 1 35 



the slightly elongated type ol chipped flints 
from Europe and elsewhere. Thus the Burma 
form along with the Godavari gives us a 
tradition quite different from that of Kharsuti 
Pre-Paleolith or Cuddapah Rostrocarinatcs. In 
Europe also nodule-working more predominant 
in Early Palaeolithic and flake- working more 
developed in Late Paleolithic has given us, so to 
speak, two lines of development and of evolution 
of forms and the Indian forms of decidedly early 
type show that the evolution of the two idea- 
systems might have been parallel, like the 
evolution of different branches of fossil men, from 
the earliest times. The Burma find also, as I 
pointed out, bears a remarkable resemblance to the 
' Eolith ' from Dorset, figured in Man, 1908. 

It is not to damage the authenticity of the 
Burma find, whose artificial 
shaping is to my mind un- 
questioned, but to familiarise 
our Indian readers with the state of knowledge 
about the existence of flints chipped by man in 
Miocene and Pliocene times in Europe that wc 
have to tackle the Eolithic question. Recently 
the acceptance of Fox-Hall Hall finds of late 
Tertiary times in Norfolk as genuinely human by 
the L'Instiiut d Anthropologie has given us at 
least some definite human flints of Tertiary days 
undisputed by anybody. Boule points out that 
paleontologically there is nothing against accepting 




1 3 6 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



the existence of Tertiary man but he would 
not like to base the proof of the ancestry of 
man merely on bulbs of percussions, as was 
felicitously expressed by Evans. Boulc h2s shown 
that under exceptional natural conditions, flints 
may get fractured in shapes identical with the 
adduced Eoliths. He even went further and 
said that in a cement-mill, the chalk, moving 
under water in conditions similar to the rivers 
in flood, would be found fractured in various 
shapes hard to be distinguished from artifacts. 
MacCurdy in his Human Origins (1924) quotes 
with approval from Holme showing how in 
eight points the mill. made flints can be easily 
distinguished from man-made ones. But the real 
criterion lies in the association of eoliths with 
remains of kitchen refuse, fire-hearths or human 
skeletons and the definite shape. 1 

Thus Dechelette rightly points out : ‘ The 
veritable criterion of intentional 
*r irking in flint is not to be 
sought in the existence of a 
method of grasping, nor in that of conchoid of 
percussion, nor in the presence or mode of 
distribution of marginal notches called retouches. 
If pre-historv is not anxious to stray beyond the 
domain of positive facts, it cannot accept as 
archaeological documents any bur the worked flints 
of which the forms arc at all times so complex and 



Otwrenier.Awff JTm iVS.-sin, p. 18 . 




ARTIFACTS OF PRECHELLEAN INDIA 137 

so constant as to constitute veritable industrial 
types. The chance of natural actions and agencies 
may produce on many occasions several simple 
forms like that of an elongated blade detached 
from a core or very exceptionally a form relatively 
complex, just in the shape of the grattoir; but 
the constant repetition of a complex form cannot 
but be the work of an intelligent being.” 1 

The complexity of the style and the definite- 
ness of the shape have made us pause to 
consider the Rostrocarinates. In Appendix II 
appears a study of an evolutionary series of 
Rostrocarinates which had a 

Indi»r. .•••-. r • 

urini'e. particular interest tor me, in my 

attempt to find whether it led 
by type-stages to our welRcOOWn form of the 
Narbada Coup-dc-poing. Ill the Indian Museum 
collection there are 200 forms ( Coggin Brown's 
Catalogue, Nos. 5644-5843) where a Rostro- 
carinaie shape would be recognised They 
were all collected by Mr. Macleod, a former 
collector of Cuddapah and picked up from the 
surface by one of his peons ‘ in hills, maidans and 
scrub-jungles ' at the following and many other 
places : Kanamalopollu, the Puliampet taluks, 
Chitrel and Kalaspad. We there recognise 
various shapes, some recalling, only in a magnified 
form, the grooved implement from Piltdown, some 
batiform, some patessiform but all heavy and 

• DfabtlMU, friUiMrtfW, 19*. p *» 

l8 




PREHISTORIC INDIA 



138 

most often blunt-edged There is .1 patina ir. all 
and in form they arc decidedly cruder than the 
fine Pakeoliths abundant in other sites in Madras. 
They all answer to the definition of Reid-Moir of 
a Rostrocarinatc being ' an implement with broad 
posterior region, narrowed anteriorly to a quasi- 
vertical cutting edge. This anterior narrow edge 
is strongly curved and gives the implement the 
form of the beak of an accipitrine bird. The form 
of the region of the implement may also be 
compared to that of the prow of a boat (the boat 
being turned keel upwards).' 

The Godavari flake along with the Narbada 
coup-dc-poing form the corner- 
stones of the study of the 
o,„p.d, Mflie3t prehistory of India. 
Their artificiality is unquestioned 
and their horizon has been determined by the 
associate fauna of the same horizon. In our 
earlier works we have spoken of them as Pre* 
Chellean to indicate their chronological correlation 
with Europe. We have discussed this in detail in 
the chapter on Geology and in our opinion the 
Southern Elephant proto-type E. Ganesa and the 
Hippopotamus associated with these assign them 
to one of the earliest Interglacial phases. We 
cannot go so far as to adduce these as proofs 
of the surmise of Haddon that ‘ the interglacial 
man of Europe is probably represented by pre- 
glacial man in India/ 




ARTIFACTS Oh PRBCHELLEAN INDIA 139 



The flake (rom Godavari is a line piece of 
agate delicately chipped and beautiful to look at. 
There are longitudinal flakes from the bottom 
towards the top which has a curved and bent 
outlook. On the left towards the top there are 
few small lateral retouches. One side is not 



worked at all and may be spoken of as ‘ ventral.' 
It is very smooth. The other side ' dorsal, ' 
worked to perlection so far as the delicate piece 
is concerned, retains no trace of any mid-rib and 
appears like an Aurignacian flake with a secondary 
retouch. This similarity is accentuated by the 
existence of a fine shoulder towards the lower 
edge Looked upon as a finely worked rectangular 
piece, it is liable to be compared to a Leva llois 
flake, as we had previously done. The bent top 
gives it an appearance of a beak and even it may 
ally itself with a beakod scraper. But as a matter 
of fact, it is not identical in form with any of these 
mentioned and may be looked upon as 3 synthe- 
tic type connecting the Burma-type of flakes on 
the one hand and the late Acheullean, late 
Mousterian and even late Aurignacian forms on 
the other. When the day comes for Archaeology 



to be as systematic an index of the growth of 
mind as Bakeoiitology and Biology, the Godavari 
form would have an unenviable position. For in 
the morphological study of material culture, the 
prehistorian is in a much more favourable position 
than the embryologist. A variation in one or two 




140 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



chippings may appear very insignificant to-day 
but wc have there definite materialisations of the 
variations in brainlobcs of fossil man evolving 
through much simpler and thus much more easily 
discernible stages spread oui over a vaster period 
extending to thousands of years. 

With the Narbada coup-de-poing we pass to a 
different type altogether. But it is remarkable 
that here and in the Godavari chip we miss the 
conchoidal retouching which is so prominent in the 
countless early palreoliths from India. It is the 
absence of this wavy edge, so definite in other 
shapes, that tempt us to call these two as prede- 
cessors of grattoir or pianing tool and coup-de- 
poing or hand-axe type. The Godavari flake has 
been chipped only on one side, but the Narbada 
specimen shows a working on both and in the 
latter even a sort of ' stepping ' can be recognised. 
In form again the Narbada specimen appears far 
more advanced and complicate than the Piltdown 
pakeoliths or primitive coup-de-po:ng of St. 
Ac'neul found by Comment. But it is quite 
certain that we have not to do here with ‘ any 
chance shape of shattered blocks of flint 
where with a few well directed blows a sharp 
point or good cutting edge was produced. 1 
A concave serrated edge is more characteristic of 
the Godavari find and according to Obermaier 
this may lead us to infer the use of such an im- 
plement in scraping the bark from branches and 




ARTIPACTS OF PRECHEI.LEAN INDIA I41 



smooching them down into poles ; so the rough 
coup-de-poing type as »ve get in Narbada would 
be well adapted to dividing flesh and dressing 
hides Thus we have to deal here with more 
definite and pronounced types than those found 
in Pre-Chellean stations in Europe, the Strepyan 
and Mesvmian culture-stages of Rutot. 

It is interesting to observe here that the red 
quartzite Narbada coup-de-poing 

:,£'' Au ' i0D wou,d fmd its ex3Ci doub!c in a 

similar specimen in the Indian 

Museum hailing from Simondium, Cape Colony and 
presented by Dr. Peringuey. It is a far cry from 
South India to South Africa where two objects 
happening to be fashioned out of the same 
material are remarkably similar. De Morgan 
naturally observes 11 we are led to conclude from the 
wide geographical distribution of these types that 
the same causes have produced the same effects 
at various times in different regions, and that 
paleolithic industry originated not only in North 
America but in India, in Australia— where it is still 
extant— in Southern Africa, Western Europe ar.d 
perhaps in many other places besides.” 1 1 am 
afraid the question cannot be dismissed so s'unply. 
True the space of distribution seems very vast but 
the time of dispersal at its command was also in- 
ordinately large. Type-growths and dispersals 
might have undergone a mitotic process and many 

• D.> Hoc*»n, Pnhislartt Han, 182* p. 260. 




1 4 2 



PREHISTORIC INDIA 



intervening cellular links between two types from 
widely separate areas may be hidden away (ram 
us for ever. But we should not shut out discus- 
sion and investigation and once the lundamental 
principle is discovered, the application however 
complicated, is not difficult 

According to Osborn 1 the Pre-Chellean industry 
is to be dated at 1 25,000 years 
BASEST and relegated .0 the beginning 
of the Third Interglacial (Riss- 
Wurra). Obermaier thinks that the Age of 
Man begins with the First Glacial stage. Accord- 
ing to Boule and Dechelette, the Chedean is 
to be placed in the Second Interglacial (Mindel- 
Riss) and Pre-Chellean phases might come at 
the beginning As they begin Pleistocene with 
the Second Glacial (Mined) to go earlier 
we have to step into upper Pliocene and 
the First Interglacial (Gunz-Mindel) which 
paleontologically is too remote for our Narbada- 
Godavari industry. In Europe according to 
Osborn,’ we have got to deal with five 

or six chief types being primitive forms of (1) 
grattoir (planing tool), (a) racloir (scraper), (3) 
pp.rpnr (borer), (4) couteau (knife), (5) perculcur 
(hammer stone) and (6) Proto-coup-de-poing (hand- 
axe). In India we have got perhaps the first 
and the last. Osborn associates this industry in 

1 Ufcb&n, Me* of tU O! ii Slot* A 1018, pp. 120 30. 

* Osborn, «/ JA* (X4 Sf) r* Av t 191$ p. 130.